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Boil water advisory partially lifted in Baltimore after E. coli detection

Baltimore officials lifted a boil water advisory Wednesday night in some parts of the affected area, days after E. coli bacteria was detected in some samples of the water supply.

The city’s Department of Public Works encouraged residents of the affected area on Monday to boil water used for drinking or cooking after the discovery of the bacteria, which is often spread during contact with feces. The advisory remains in effect in the Sandtown-Winchester and Harlem Park neighborhoods, where water samples originally turned up E. coli over Labor Day weekend, and in some surrounding neighborhoods, news outlets reported.

The department performed several rounds of water quality tests in the areas covered by the advisory and all results confirmed that the water is safe to consume, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said in a statement. Because of the inconveniences the advisory caused residents, Scott announced a 25% reduction to water bills citywide in the next cycle.

E. coli contamination can cause intestinal distress, with symptoms that include stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Illness caused by the bacteria usually is mild, but in rare cases a potentially life-threatening complication can result about a week after the initial infection, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.