Residents of the West Coast community of Askøy can finally drink their water again. After 42 days of having to boil it, Askøy’s water was officially declared safe again on Wednesday.
“There’s been no sign of bacterial activity anywhere in the distribution network,” Deputy Mayor Bård Espelid told state broadcaster NRK. “Therefore we’ll drop the warning to boil water sometime between 8am and 9am tomorrow (Thursday).”
Officials have been taking daily tests of the water for several weeks, since Askøy residents started falling ill in late May. More than 2,000 people were sick and police are examining the deaths of two, a one-year-old boy and a 72-year-old woman. Both are believed to have died in connection with bacterial intestinal infection.
Local officials will now phase out use of two reservoirs but the actual source of the bacteria remains a mystery. Waste from both dogs, deer and horses have been found on top of one of them. E-coli bacteria was found in the water that may have entered the drinking water source from cracks in the mountain around it.