Skip to main content

E. Coli Information



  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that Lehi residents avoid watering their lawns or gardens with water from their pressurized irrigation systems.
  • CDC recommends that Lehi residents Do not eat any fresh (uncooked) produce that was watered with pressurized irrigation water.


  • Can I wash the produce from my garden? 

    • Washing may not eliminate the bacteria. Contaminated water can get inside of produce when growing, making it impossible to wash off.
    • Eating uncooked produce that was watered with pressurized irrigation water may cause a health risk. CDC currently recommends that residents do not consume uncooked produce.
  • What about cooking produce? 

    • Produce is safer to consume if it is properly cooked to a minimum temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.  


  • How do I know if my water is pressurized irrigation water or culinary water? 

    • Spigots directly connected to your home are culinary water.


  • Can you drink from the hose and play in the sprinklers?

    • Never drink or play in PI water. Unlike culinary water, pressurized irrigation is not commonly treated, making it vulnerable to contamination and harmful bacteria, such as E. Coli.
  • Why is it recommended by the CDC to not use pressurized irrigation water for my lawn at this time? 

    • E. coli O157 is particularly dangerous for young children, who may frequently play on and around your lawn. 
  • How long should I not water my lawn/garden for?

    • It is currently not known how long it will be recommended to not water lawns/gardens.
    • The Lehi Water Department has created a treatment strategy plan.
      • Crews shock treated two of our key reservoirs, with one receiving a steady rate dosing. This treatment is designed to help deactivate and lower the levels of bacteria.
      • Residents should still use caution and practice good hygiene of washing hands.
  • Can residents use their drip system for watering the garden? What are the alternatives?

      • Produce watered with drip systems can pose a health risk if consumed uncooked. Residents should cook all produce grown using PI water to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. 

    If you have questions about watering your garden or eating produce from your garden, please visit this article from USU Extension (

  • Can residents walk on the lawn or do recreational activities when the lawn is dry?

    • E. coli can make you sick when it gets in your mouth. Simply walking across a lawn won’t make you sick, but keep in mind that pathogens might get on your shoes as you walk and could then spread from shoes to other surfaces. 
    • Young children often put their hands or objects in their mouths that could make them very sick. Residents with young children should reconsider recreational activities on lawns. 
    • E. coli can be present on lawns, even when the lawn is dry. 
    • Practice good hygiene
      • Thoroughly wash hands to prevent the spread of E. coli and other bacteria.
  • What about pets? Can pets play in the yard still?

    • Pets should not drink or play in PI water.
    • E. coli O157 doesn’t generally cause illness in pets, but pets can shed O157 in their feces that could make people sick.
    • Additionally, other pathogens may be present in PI water that could make pets sick.
    • Pets can go out in the yard, but pets might get pathogens on their paws and fur, and pet owners should exercise caution, including washing their hands after touching or cleaning up after their pets, so that bacteria does not spread from pets to humans.
  • Will UV kill E. coli?

    • While UV can kill E. coli, it should not be relied on to make produce or water safe to eat or drink. E. coli can live in many places in soil and plants that are hard for UV to reach. 


  • Where was the bacteria found? 

    • E. coli O157 bacteria was found at multiple locations in the pressurized water system, including the sediment of a reservoir and at some of the identified patient’s homes.
  • What is the City doing to mitigate the E. coli?

    • Upon being informed by the Utah County Health Department of the first cases of E. coli, Lehi City Water Department pulled 7 investigative samples from the drinking water system at or around the known PI exposure sites, these 7 samples were in addition to the 20 routine bacteria samples that are pulled weekly from the drinking water distribution system. The sample results from all 7 of these samples were clean and confirmed that E. coli was not present in the culinary drinking water system.
    • The Water Department created a treatment strategy for the PI system.
      • Crews shock treated two of our key reservoirs, with one receiving a steady rate dosing. This treatment is designed to help deactivate and lower the levels of bacteria.
      • A sampling strategy to monitor the effectiveness of the treatment in the system has been implemented by the Water Department.


  • If you see or notice any of the following symptoms, contact a Health Provider:
    • Bloody diarrhea
    • Persistent diarrhea
    • Fever
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Symptoms usually start 3 to 4 days after swallowing the bacteria and last 5 to 7 days.
  • E. coli can be transmitted from person to person. Good handwashing and hygiene are necessary to prevent the spread.
  • Anyone can get sick. Children younger than 5 years, adults 65 years and older, pregnant people, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to get seriously ill. This demographic is also more likely to have hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. 



See post here.