E.coli Information Update
The E.coli bacteria that was detected on Friday 9/6/13 was found in one (1) sample taken from the Old Post Road area. It was an isolated sample as all other samples taken that day were clear. Following DEP guidelines, we took nineteen samples on Saturday and another nineteen on Sunday at various strategic points, including all five wells and the three storage tanks. All were clear. When DEP reviewed our results as well as chlorine residuals on Monday 9/9/13, the boil order was lifted. We continue to chlorinate as we investigate to try to determine what might have caused this situation to develop.
The Code Red Emergency Notification System, operated by the Barnstable Police , worked very well with call outs on Friday evening, Saturday morning and then again on Monday afternoon with the boil order lift. However, there were some people who were not in the database and therefore not called. Many of those people have now enrolled in the system. But for those of you who have not enrolled, please click on the selection on the left side of this page “EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION” and follow the instructions. There are some glitches in this system that we have noted and we will be bringing them to attention of the police department.
A note about E.coli bacteria:
E. coli is a sub-group of the fecal coliform bacteria group. There are many strains of E. coli, most of which are harmless, but some strains can cause illness. E. coli outbreaks receive much media coverage. Most outbreaks have been related to food contamination (not water) and are caused by a specific strain of E. coli known as E. coli 0157:H7. When a drinking water sample is reported as “E coli positive”, it does not mean that this specific strain is present and in fact, it is probably not present. However, it does indicate recent fecal contamination. Boiling or treating drinking water with disinfectant destroys all forms of E. coli, including 0157:H7.