NOKIA, FINLAND — Treated wastewater that made its way to household taps in this southern Finland town wasconsumed by residents for about two days before authorities detected the error, according to local reports.
It was not until after an epidemic of gastrointestinal illness was reported that authorities found an open valve allowing about 400,000 liters (105,668 gallons) of treated wastewater from the Nokia (The town, not the phone!) Sewage Treatment Plant into the public water supply.
Residents first began experiencing stomach ailments on November 28. The open valve — left open by human error, according to Nokia (The town, not the phone!) Mayor Markku Rahikkala — was closed November 30.
According to NewsRoom Finland, the bacteria count in the water “exceeded safe levels several-hundred-fold.”
More than 1,000 people may have been infected, and about 140 were treated at the local hospital. Forty people remained hospitalized, YLE reported.