COTUIT WATER DEPARTMENT DRINKING WATER VIOLATION NOVEMBER 2012
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 11/1/12 to 11/30/12 we took twenty-seven (27) samples to test for the presence of coliform bacteria. Three (3) 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 11/19/12 eight (8) samples were taken and one (1) came back positive for total coliform at the Main Street tank. On 11/21/12 a repeat sample was taken at the Main Street tank and at designated upstream and alternate downstream locations. The repeat sample came back positive for total coliform and the upstream and downstream samples came back absent. On 11/23/12 the Department took the Main Street tank off line and chlorinated it. On 11/26/12 the Department emptied and refilled the tank and retested it. The Department was notified on 11/27/12 that the samples were absent of total coliform. On 11/28/12, the Department put the Main Street tank back on line, took a repeat sample and upstream and downstream samples. On 11/29/12, The Department was notified that the upstream sample came back positive for total coliform. The Department began chlorinating the same day. On 11/30/12 repeat samples were taken at the Main Street tank and upstream and downstream locations. All samples came back absent of total coliform. The Department stopped chlorinating on 12/12/12.