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NAPLES, Italy — It took U.S. Navy and NATO personnel several days last week to notify their personnel that the drinking water supply in the town of Bacoli might be tainted.

On Jan. 18, Bacoli Mayor Antonio Coppola issued a public notice cautioning residents against drinking the water after tests revealed traces of chemicals and solvents in the water following reconstruction work on the water system, town spokeswoman Maria Di Roberto said Monday.

The order was lifted Saturday, and the water was declared safe for human consumption, Di Roberto said.

Because the original notice came out late on Jan. 18, and because of the following Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, U.S. personnel weren’t informed of the town’s advisory until Jan. 22, said Scott Campbell, a spokesman with Navy Region Europe.

Naval Support Activity Naples posted a notice on its Web site Jan. 22, telling those who might log onto the site of the “temporary precautionary measure … to drink only bottled water until the flushing process is completed.” It made no mention of the presence of chemicals, but stated the issue is not related to the ongoing trash crisis in Naples.

At Joint Force Command in Bagnoli, the NATO base in Naples, the host nation adviser’s office alerted the base personnel via a mass distribution e-mail on Jan. 23.

On Friday, Capt. Floyd Hehe, commander of NSA Naples, also addressed the issue in his weekly column in the base newspaper, telling Bacoli residents to avoid drinking the water, or using it for cooking, brushing teeth or washing one’s face and sensitive areas.

Roughly 100 civilians, military members and their dependents live in the Bacoli area, a seaside town west of Naples.

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