Evidence of E. coli bacteria found in hydration station at U.S. Open at Erin Hills

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Evidence of E. coli bacteria found in hydration station at U.S. Open at Erin Hills

PGA Tour

Evidence of E. coli bacteria found in hydration station at U.S. Open at Erin Hills

Evidence of E. coli bacteria has been found in a hydration station at Erin Hills golf course, site of the U.S. Open, health officials said Thursday.

The Washington Ozaukee Health Department on Thursday identified the bacteria in a drinking water sample collected from the hydration station connected to a well near the 12th hole, according to a news release from the department.

People who consume water containing E. coli bacteria may become sick with symptoms of gastrointestinal illness such as diarrhea, vomiting, fever, nausea and abdominal cramps.

There has been no evidence of other water lines or hydration stations being affected and no incidents of illness have been reported, according to the release.

The water line to the contaminated hydration station was shut off Thursday morning, but some visitors may have consumed water from the station between Tuesday afternoon and Thursday morning.

The United States Golf Association, which conducts the tournament, provided complimentary bottled water at the station throughout the day while waiting for the preliminary results to be confirmed, the department said.

Complimentary bottled water will be provided at all hydration stations for the duration of the tournament, which runs through Sunday, the USGA said.

“The safety and security of our guests is of paramount importance to the USGA,” association spokesman Jeff Altstadter said in the statement.

E. coli and coliform bacteria can be found in the soil and can enter a water supply through breaks and cracks in underground pipes.

People who may have consumed contaminated water and experience any symptoms of gastrointestinal illness should visit their health care provider.

(This story was written by Jesse Garza of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.)

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