Thursday, June 9, 2011


For Immediate Release


Tests Showed Coliform Bacteria in Winthrop Water

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.

We routinely monitor for drinking water contaminants. We took 30 samples to test for the presence of coliform bacteria during the month of April. Two of our samples showed the presence of total coliform bacteria. The standard is that no more than one sample may do so.

What should I do?
You do not need to boil your water or take other corrective actions.

What does this mean?
This is not an emergency. If it had been you would have been notified within 24 hours. 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 system’s 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 E. coli, are present. We did not find any of these bacteria in our subsequent testing.

What is being done?
On April 28, two samples were positive for total coliform, including one sample that was taken from an alternate site. On April 29, six repeat samples were taken to determine if there was an actual problem, and all came back clear of coliform. Therefore, no further action is required.

For more information, please contact Dave Hickey at 617-846-1341 or at Winthrop DPW, 100 Kennedy Drive, Winthrop, MA, 02152.

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.

Date publicly posted : June 6 , 2011 by DPW
Webposting request on June 8, 2011 by DPW / posted by MIS - MKaras

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