Our water system recently violated a drinking water standard.  Although this incident was not an emergency, as our customers, you have a right to know

what happened and what we did to correct this situation.

From 3/1/12 to 3/31/12 we took twenty-three  (23) samples to test for the presence of coliform bacteria. Two (2) of those samples showed the presence of coliform bacteria.  The standard  is that no more than one (1) sample may do so.

What should I do?

  • You do not need to boil your water or take other corrective actions. However, if you have specific health concerns, consult your doctor.

People with severely compromised immune systems, infants, and some elderly may be at increased risk.  These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers.  General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at l (800) 426-4791.

What does this mean?

This is not an emergency.  If it had been you would have been notified immediately.  Total coliform bacteria are generally not harmful themselves.  Coliforms are bacteria which are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that other, potentially harmful bacteria may be present.  Coliforms were found in more samples than allowed and this was a warning of potential problems. Further testing shows that this

problem has been resolved.

Usually, coliforms are a sign that there could be a problem with the treatment or distribution system (pipes).  Whenever we detect coliform bacteria in any sample, we do follow-up testing to see if other bacteria of greater concern, such as fecal coliform or E. coli, are present.  We did not find any of these bacteria in our subsequent testing.  If we had, we would have notified you immediately.

What happened?  What was done?

On 3/19/12 eight (8) samples were taken and one (1) came back positive for total coliform.  On 3/21/12 a repeat sample with a designated downstream location was taken.

The repeat sample came back positive for total coliform and the downstream sample came back negative.  On 3/23/12 the Department took five (5) more routine samples around town and all came back negative for total coliform. The Department then flushed the area, chlorinated the sample line and changed the sample taps.  On 3/26/12 one (1) repeat sample was taken and on 3/27/12 one (1) repeat and one (1) downstream sample were taken and all samples came back negative for total coliform.

For more information, please contact Chris Wiseman at 508-428-2687 or at the Cotuit Water Department, located at 4300 Falmouth Road in Cotuit.

Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.

This notice is being posted by the Cotuit Water Department, PWS #4020003, April  17, 2012.