Tavares residents were told Saturday to boil water after a test found fecal coliform at unacceptable levels.
Yvonne Campbell with the Tavares Water Department said that during routine sampling on Saturday, one sample detected fecal coliform.
The state Department of Environmental Protection then put the city's water system on boil-water alert for 72 hours. After that, another sample will be tested before the all-clear is issued.
The city said residents should boil all water for one minute before using, or use bottled water for drinking, cooking, cleaning dishes, making ice and brushing teeth. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.
Fecal coliform can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea and headaches. At special risk are infants, young children and people with severely compromised immune systems.
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