Nearly 200,000 households have been told to boil their water for at least two minutes before drinking it because E-coli bacteria has been found in it, yet nobody seems to turn a hair.

It is as if it is the most normal thing in the world to be told a kind of bacteria that can make you pretty sick has been found in your drinking water. ‘Oh well, I was boiling the water for tea anyway.’
The news that E-coli turned up in the Hoofddorp distribution centre was contained in a press release sent out just before midnight last night and placed on the strangely-named website crisis04.crisis.nl/ – presumably set up for just such occasions. It’s exactly where you check before boiling the kettle.
But there it is in black and white. People in a wide area stretching from Aalsmeer to Zandvoort, with Haarlem and the rural area around Amstelveen in between, are all apparently at risk.
The cause of the contamination is under investigation – E-coli lives in everyone’s guts and is found in faecal matter – so it would seem to be pretty obvious.
The water board responsible for the contamination, PWN, has put out a reassuring press release on its website home page and a Q&A section to soothe customers’ fears. Nowhere however, does it mention where E-coli actually comes from.

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