Boil Water Order Lifted For C-O-MM Area
By: James Kinsella and Laura M. Reckford
A boil water order for users in the Centerville-Osterville-Marstons Mills Water District was lifted Thursday at 2 PM within 18 hours of being ordered.
The boil water warning was issued Wednesday evening to customers of the district after a test showed the presence of E. coli bacteria in one of the district’s wells.
Five repeat samples showed no further bacteria and so the order was lifted but not before a massive communication campaign was put into process, including reverse 911 calls from the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office to as many of the 12,000 service connections in the district as possible.
About 500 homes in the district are on private wells, Mr. Crocker said.
The information was also put out to media, including newspaper and radio, and presented on the town’s public access television station and the town’s website.
C-O-MM Water Superintendent Craig Crocker said, he believes the test that showed bacteria may have been a false positive or due to human error, since all subsequent tests were negative.
Nevertheless, he said, the department will now go through a series of steps to ensure the water supply is clear of any problems, including flushing out the system and perhaps adding extra chlorine.
Mr. Crocker said the department received notification Wednesday that E coli was detected Tuesday in one of the department’s 19 ground water sources. The source is off Crooked Cartway Road in Marstons Mills. No bacteria was found in the department’s water distribution system, he said.
The Crooked Cartway Road source has been taken off-line until the flushing and other safeguards have been taken care of, Mr. Crocker said.
Mr. Crocker was assisted by elected officers of the water and fire district in answering the many calls that came in Wednesday before the order was lifted. People wanted to know specifics of what they were or were not allowed to do.
Mr. Crocker explained that the presence of the bacteria indicate that potentially harmful organisms may be present which can make you sick, and are a particular concern for people with weakened immune systems.
The C-O-MM district was prepared to distribute bottled water to the district and had made a major purchase of water from B.J.’s Wholesale Club before determining that the boil water order could be rescinded. Mr. Crocker said he planned to return the water and get the district’s money back.
C-O-MM Fire Chief John Farrington said in his 38 years with the department, it had never issued a boil water order. “They’ve got an excellent system and they run a good operation,” he said of the water department.
Mr. Crocker also announced that a declaration of a state of water supply conservation has been issued. Outdoor watering hours have been restricted to the hours of 9 PM to 4 AM on odd/even days until further notice.
Any questions can be directed to C-O-MM at 508-428-6691.
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