West Groton Water Supply Test on Nov. 7 Shows Presence of Coliform
West Groton Water Supply District PWSID# 2115001 has recently violated a Drinking Water Standard. Although this incident was not an emergency, customers have a right to know what happened, and what was done to correct this situation.
Drinking water is routinely monitored for contaminants. On Nov. 7, 2012 nine samples throughout the system were tested for presence of Coliform Bacteria. Three of the samples taken showed the presence of Coliform bacteria - 1) 72 Crosswinds Drive, 2) The Townsend Rd. Tank, and 3) 163 West Main St. The standard is "that no more than 1 sample or greater than 5 percent may result in Coliform".
What should I do?
You do not need to boil your water or take other corrective action. However, if you have specific health concerns, consult your doctor.
People with severely compromised immune systems, infants, and some elderly may be at risk. These people should seek advice from their health care providers about drinking water. General guidelines on ways to lessen risk of infection by microbes are available from EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.
What does this mean?
This is not an emergency. If it had been, you would have been notified immediately. 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.
Whenever we detect Coliform bacteria in any sample, we perform 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 is being done?
The District has this past year experienced 5 violations for Coliform Bacteria in our system. The staff, along with the recommendation of DEP, made several modifications to the distribution system to eliminate these violations, including installing a complete Tank Mixing System at the Kemp St. Tank Upon notification from the lab on Nov. 7 of failed samples, DEP was contacted, and in accordance with DEP regulations and recommendations, the affected areas were flushed and disinfected.
Furthermore, as a result of the Districts repeated failures, the DEP has placed West Groton Water Supply under a Mandatory Disinfection Order until further notice. We are in compliance with this order. On Nov. 8 within 24 hours of notification of positive samples, the three failed sites were re-sampled and six additional samples were taken. All samples came back clean or No Bacteria Present. In view of recent sampling issues, the District is now voluntarily doing additional weekly sampling to better understand the exact cause of and prevention of further issues.
Situation Resolved: We did not find any bacteria present in our subsequent testing. However, we did find the cause of two these failed samples. There was a controller failure on the Townsend Rd. tank mixer that has been repaired. Also, a piping problem was found and eliminated at Crosswind Drive sample site. We are in contact with DEP who is evaluating effectiveness of steps taken to see if any further action is required.
For more information, contact Paul or Gordon at West Groton Water @ (978) 448-3711.
Please share this information with other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartment, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.