IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR DRINKING WATER
TESTS SHOWED COLIFORM BACTERIA IN THE
OAK BLUFFS WATER DISTRICT DRINKING WATER
PWS ID #: 4221000
Posted May 17, 2013
Our water system recently violated a drinking water standard. Although THIS WAS NOT AN EMERGENCY, as our customers, you have a right to know what happened, and what we did to correct this situation.
We routinely monitor for the presence of drinking water contaminants. We took twenty one (21) samples on May 6th, 8th & 10th. Five (5) of those samples showed the presence of Coliform bacteria. The standard is that no more than one (1) sample per month may do so.
Fourteen (14) repeat samples were taken on May 13th, per DEP instructions. Oak Bluffs Water District took samples at all detect locations, and also sampled the whole distribution system. All repeat samples were negative for Total Coliform & E-coli bacteria.
What should I do?
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 1 (800) 426-4791.
What does this mean?
THIS WAS 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.
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 and further testing shows that this problem has been resolved. If we had detected E-coli, we would have notified you immediately.
What happened? What was done?
We believe the samples taken were tainted by recent water system construction and hydrant flushing. In the future, precautions will be taken during flushing to help prevent Total Coliform positive sample results.
For more information, please contact Oak Bluffs Water District, 508-693-5527, PO Box 1297, 96 Vineyard Avenue, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557
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 sent to you by Oak Bluffs Water District PWS# 4221000
Distributed May 17, 2013