Nearly 12,000 customers in the Horn Lake community were told to boil their water before using it in food or drinks, or on any surface on which food sits.
"Yes sir, it's very much an inconvenience," said Spencer Shields, the city's director of operations. "You really don't realize how much water you use and how much you consume and what you use it for until you hit this boil water alert, which anything that touches the food you eat would need to be boiled."
As for where exactly the E. coli came from nobody is sure, but they think it might have been from a tainted spigot, and not actually in the water supply itself. The contaminated sample was taken on Jan. 16, prompting the boil alert advisory that was issued the next day.
"(The sample) had E. coli in it," Shields said. "It triggered an automatic boil water alert. We feel pretty comfortable this was just a bad sample. The system has a 1.3 residual of chlorine in it. But just to be on the safe side, we sent out boil water alert."
The boil water alert left some residents and businesses looking for an alternative to the usual southern drink at lunch time. Where people normally drink sweet tea at lunchtime, they were drinking cans of soda because of the E. coli scare.
Many Horn Lake eateries told FOX13 News the hardest hit part of the day was breakfast - no water from the tap which translated to no coffee for the morning service.
The good news is after the city of Horn Lake sent off 119 samples to the Mississippi Department of Health in Jackson, the water was deemed safe to consume.