CLEARFIELD -- With summer temperatures on the rise, Davis County health officials are reminding everyone to play it safe with untreated water sources.
"The majority of Utahns understand they shouldn't drink untreated water from rivers, reservoirs and lakes. But I'm concerned that many people, especially children, don't realize that secondary tap water isn't treated either," Davis County Health Director Lewis R. Garrett said in a prepared statement.
"It, too, can be a source of bacteria and disease when used inappropriately."
Sources of untreated water exist throughout the county, health officials say.
Many property owners buy and use secondary water to irrigate their lawns, gardens and farms, said Dave Spence, director of Environmental Health Services Division for county health.
"Secondary water is less expensive for its intended purpose of irrigation since it's untreated," Spence said. "Even without being treated, secondary water is harmless to vegetation and animals when used correctly."
People are urged to use soap and wash with water from a treated or culinary source after coming in contact with secondary water, Spence said.
Adults should also keep children from playing in sprinklers, wading pools or drinking from hoses if the source comes from secondary water, he said.
"We really hope adults will explain to their children about the different water sources around their home and that secondary water isn't for drinking or playing in."
One suggestion is for residents to paint all their outdoor secondary water taps red to distinguish them from any culinary water faucets located outside, Spence said.
"That makes it easy for others to recognize which tap has secondary water, so there's no mistake when using it."
Recreational water illnesses include a wide variety of infections, such as gastrointestinal, skin, ear, respiratory, eye, neurologic and wound infections.
The most commonly reported recreational water illness is diarrhea. Diarrheal illnesses are caused by germs such as cryptosporidium, giardia, shigella, norovirus and strains of E. coli, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The number of reported cases locally was not available.
For more information about using untreated water, call Davis County's Environmental Health Services staff at 801-525-5100.