Long Beach water's E. coli contamination cleared, boil order lifted, officials say

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After a three-day-long boil water order in Long Beach, officials say the water is finally safe to drink again.

"With two consecutive rounds of favorable results, the boil water order will be lifted effective immediately," New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said.

Over the weekend, water engineers and sanitarians flushed out the entire system with chlorine until two consecutive rounds of water samples tested negative for E. coli bacteria.

New York State's Office of Emergency Management deployed an additional 115,000 bottles of water to the oceanfront community as many bars and restaurants temporarily closed up for business.

"As that crisis played out, what may seem like a miracle in that regard was actually just the city workforce doing exactly what they did here after [Superstorm] Sandy ravaged the city," Acting City Manager Rob Agostisi said.

The announcement came on the same day three Long Beach elementary schools closed their doors after a student within city limits was diagnosed with a suspected E. coli infection.

Long Beach Public Schools posted a statement on Facebook saying, in part, "Although we can provide adequate bottled water for students and staff to drink, we cannot guarantee proper hand washing among students."

While the identity of that student has not been released, Long Beach resident Alexis Pace said her 12-year-old daughter Kaya, who has Down syndrome and Crohn's disease, tested positive for E. coli after she was rushed to the emergency room last week.

"On Sunday morning, I received a call from her gastroenterologist to inform me that she 100% was positive for E. coli," Pace said.

Officials have not yet pinpointed the source of the contamination but say they're continuing to investigate it.

"The health and safety of New Yorkers is paramount, and during difficult situations we will always do everything in our power to ensure communities get the resources they need," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. "I have also directed the State Department of Health Commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, and his team to investigate the source of contamination and to identify ways to ensure this doesn't happen again."