The following notice was submitted by Miami County Rural Water District No. 2:
Miami County Rural Water District No. 2 received a notice of violation for the drinking water microbiological standard for total coliforms in its distribution system in September 2014. Although this is not an emergency, you as patrons have a right to know what happened and what is being done to correct the situation.
We routinely monitor for the presence of total coliform bacteria in our drinking water. We collect a minimum of 10 water samples each month at locations throughout the district. 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.
Bacterial contamination can occur when increased runoff enters the drinking water source; for example, following heavy rains. It can also happen due to a break in the distribution system (pipes), a failure in the water treatment process or an improperly taken sample that was in contact with a non-sterile environment.
We sampled our water system 13 times in September for coliform bacteria. The three routine samples gathered on Sept. 17 showed the presence of total coliform. The standard is that no more than one sample per month may contain coliform.
You do not need to boil your water or take other corrective actions. However, if you have specific health concerns, consult your doctor. 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 provider. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from the Environmental Protection Agency's Safe Drinking Hotline at 1 (800) 426-4791.
Whenever we detect coliform bacteria in any sample, we conduct follow-up testing to see if other bacteria, including fecal coliform or E. coli, are present. Nine follow-up samples indicated no presence of coliform bacteria, including fecal coliform or E. coli. We may increase the number of follow-up samples during the next 30 days.
Some other corrective actions we have been taking include confirming adequate system chlorine residuals, flushing the lines and returning the disinfection process back to combined chlorine.
We concluded that the problem has been resolved because follow-up testing does not indicate any new coliform-positive samples.
For more information regarding this sampling notice, please contact the district office at (913) 783-4325 or Jerry Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org.