ROTTERDAM -- Town residents should boil their drinking and cooking water, due to an equipment failure at the town water plant.
The Schenectady County Department of Environmental Health issued the boil-water order Thursday. It will remain in effect for a day or two, until testing confirms there is no bacteria in the water.
Town Supervisor Steve Tommasone said the order is precautionary. It follows the failure of a chlorine gas injection system at the water treatment plant on Rice Road, which draws water from wells in the Great Flats Aquifer.
While a backup liquid chlorine system is being used to disinfect the water, Tommasone said that, because of the gas system's failure, county and state health officials ordered the advisory while repairs were being made, Tommasone said.
The order applies to the entire town, with the exception of Rotterdam Junction, which is on a separate water system.
"There are well over 20,000 (people) affected," Tommasone said.
Water to be used for drinking or cooking should be boiled for at least one minute. The health department said boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and all food preparation.
Tommasone acknowledged the order could be in effect for a couple of days, while the town waits for test results to come back.