The Canton Water Department announced Tuesday that one of their water samples had tested positive for E.Coli but they referred to the situation as a non-emergency.
The department took 47 samples to test for the presence of coliform bacteria during August and found that three samples showed the presence of total coliform bacteria and one of those samples tested positive for E. coli.
“Coliforms were found in more samples than allowed and this was a warning of potential problems,” the Canton Water Department said in a statement.
The results of the samples is not an emergency, according to the department.
“You do not need to boil your water or take other corrective actions,” the department said in a notice to town. “However, if you have specific health concerns, consult your doctor.”
People increased for health risks are those with severely compromised immune systems, infants, and some elderly, the water company stated.
Coliform bacteria are generally not harmful themselves. They are bacteria which are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that other; potentially-harmful, bacteria may be present.
“Usually, coliforms are a sign that there could be a problem with the system’s treatment or distribution system pipes,” the water department said.
When Fecal coliforms and E. coli are bacteria are present, it usually indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes, according to the Town Website. Microbes in these wastes can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms.
The Canton Water Department released the following statement about how they handled the problem:
Coliform was detected at one of our tanks. We began flushing and monitoring chlorine residual. Coliform was also detected at a routine distribution site. Flushing and monitoring was done. E. coli was detected at a tank. The tank was resampled immediately and isolated from the system. Repeat samples found E-Coli were absent. The tank was drained and inspected, refilled and resampled before it was returned to service.
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