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Why you should boil water after a water-main break

There's a good reason why health officials are urging residents and restaurants to boil water in the wake of Wednesday night's big water main break affecting northeastern Erie County.

The water flowing through your pipes in the aftermath might make you sick.

"When water mains lose pressure, it increases the chance that untreated water and harmful microbes can enter your water," the Erie County Water Authority said in announcing the boil-water advisory Thursday.

"Harmful microbes in drinking water can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches or other symptoms and may pose a special health risk for infants, some elderly and people with severely compromised immune systems.

But these symptoms are not just caused by microbes in drinking water. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you should seek medical advice."

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