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Alamosa, Colorado Municipal Water System Salmonella Outbreak

On March 19, 2008, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) issued a bottled water advisory for residents of Alamosa, Colorado, and area residents. The advisory was issued after a Salmonella outbreak was traced to the consumption of water from the Alamosa municipal water system. At that time, 33 cases of Salmonella had been confirmed and were linked to the outbreak; 46 additional cases were pending confirmation and were being investigated.

CDPHE arranged for the Alamosa municipal water system to be flushed and tested to determine when the water would again be safe to drink, and had received 138 reports of illness in connection with the outbreak by March 21. Cases ranged from less than a year old to 89 years old. Seven of 47 persons confirmed ill with Salmonella had been hospitalized. The numbers continued to grow, and by March 24, 216 Salmonella cases had been reported, with 68 confirmed. Ultimately hundreds were sickened and one resident lost his life. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s final report regarding the salmonella outbreak stated that animal waste most likely contaminated a concrete in-ground water storage tank. The tank was found to have several holes and cracks.

In September, 2010 the City of Alamosa agreed to pay $360,000 (through its insurer) to 29 Alamosa residents who became ill because of the 2008 Salmonella outbreak.

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