A small number of Cranston residents and customers of the Kent County Water Authority are under a boil water advisory after E. coli bacteria contamination was found in water samples taken Friday in a storage tank.
The vast majority of Cranstonians get water from the Providence Water Authority and are not subject to the advisory.
And most Cranston customers of the Kent County Water Authority are not under the advisory either — including thousands of people living in apartments and in condos along the Route 5 corridor in Oaklawn and off Oaklawn Avenue.
The water authority's test results came back on Sunday morning and the tank was taken offline.
Timothy J. Brown, the water authority's general manager and chief engineer told the Providence Journal that state health officials were notified and customers were notified through media outlets.
He said customers were notified "well ahead" of the 24 hour period required by law, the Journal reported.
But as news trickled out about the advisory, residents in Cranston reacted with confusion and frustration. For many, it wasn't immediately clear what areas were really affected in Cranston. The water authority's Web site did not carry an update into Sunday evening, nor were customers directly notified. The hotline was jammed with a busy signal.
And thousands of customers in Oaklawn pay rent and utilities to a landlord, so they couldn't immediately be sure which water authority they had. People started boiling water just to be safe.
On our Facebook Page, Edna DiSanto Micheletti said "everyone in Cranston is scurrying about boiling water because the announcement on TV and internet wasn't clear."
But a more detailed map shows that every Kent County Water Authority customer in the Brookfield Plat in Cranston is not affected by the boil water advisory.
The only customers affected are along Main Street on the Cranston and Scituate line, down a portion of Hope Road in western Cranston, a section of Lippitt Ave and a tiny slice of Phenix Avenue.