URI’s boil water advisory remains in effect, additional precautions taken at Bio Sciences Center

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UPDATE 6:30 p.m. Oct. 22: Status of water treatment on Kingston Campus

While the boil water advisory and associated precautions remain in effect, the University’s testing laboratory has reported that URI’s most recent water samples are confirmed to be negative for any presence of bacteria. Those results are being reported to the Department of Health. These samples were taken yesterday from the Biological Sciences Center (BSC), two adjacent buildings Cancer Prevention Research Center and the Blue Butler Building on Flagg Road, as well as four buildings across the campus. (White Hall, Roosevelt Hall, Alpha Chi Omega Sorority on Fraternity Circle and the Sherman Building on Plains Road.).

This confirms that the super chlorination of the system at the BSC was effective. In addition, the result of water samples taken from the other sites has once again demonstrated that the presence of bacteria was localized to the BSC. The University will continue to take samples over the next two days and will restore normal water use if these samples are confirmed to be free of coliform bacteria.


KINGSTON, R.I. — October 22, 2008 — All public safety measures put in place in accordance with the boil water advisory issued Sunday by the state Department of Health remain in effect at the University of Rhode Island’s Kingston Campus.

Classes and all other University activities continue as scheduled.

The University took additional precautions Monday afternoon after preliminary results from Sunday’s sample from that building indicated that coliform might develop. Those results were later confirmed. While the University continues to focus on the Biological Sciences Center, water tests taken in adjacent buildings on the Kingston Campus have continued to be free of contamination.

Informed with the preliminary lab results Monday, the University isolated the Biological Sciences Center from the rest of system by closing valves and began super-chlorinating the building’s water pipes. Because of the high levels of chlorine used in this building, all bathrooms, sinks and other water fixtures were closed or blocked from use and warning signs were placed at all fixture locations. The chlorine was flushed from that building’s lines today and a new sample has been taken at the site for testing.

At this time, University officials said the Kingston Campus boil water remains in effect until it is cleared by the health department. That advisory says URI community members should use boiled water for drinking and cooking, or use bottled water as a substitute.

Bottled water will continue to be available to resident students using the dining halls. The bottled water station at the Memorial Union will remain open through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for students, faculty and staff.

The state Department of Health said the University’s water system remains safe for showering, bathing and washing. URI officials said the retail plaza, the Kingston Emporium, and neighboring communities are served by a separate system and are not affected by URI’s system.