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Many households still boil drinking water in summer flood aftermath
Riihimäki says tap water now safe to drink
Thousands of families in Southern Finland have been boiling their drinking water several weeks after municipal supplies were contaminated by sewage and runoff from heavy flooding in the area.
The water intake well of the Riihimäki municipal water system was contaminated by e-coli intestinal bacteria from manure spread on fields as fertiliser and from sewage from overflowed septic tanks in sparsely populated areas.
On Wednesday local officials in Riihimäki said that tap water in the town was again safe to drink.
In the community of Mäntsälä tap water will have to be boiled at least throughout the coming weekend. Officials there say that the ground water source of the municipal water system has been contaminated by the flooding; surface water, which had not had enough time to filter through layers of earth, had seeped into the intake wells.
Municipal engineers in Riihimäki noticed a sudden rise in the surface of the city’s water intake well, and are examining the ground in the area near the water intake to see if there are permeable layers through which surface water is passing too quickly.
The warning not to drink tap water has led to a surge in demand for bottled water in Mäntsälä.
Heli Virtanen of the local Spar supermarket was expecting a new delivery on Tuesday afternoon. All bottled water except for the most expensive - the French import Evian - had been sold out on Monday.