Bacteria found in Post Falls water - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Bacteria found in Post Falls water

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Posted: Friday, December 10, 2010 12:15 pm


Staff writer


POST FALLS — The City of Post Falls on Thursday announced that routine water samples taken on Tuesday revealed the presence of coliform bacteria. 

"The affected area is north of Poleline between Chase and Idaho Streets," a press release states. "Additional sampling is currently being conducted."

Terry Werner, the city's public works director, said the discovery is not an emergency and residents do not need to boil their water.

"We're not adding chlorine to the system at this time," Werner said. "We're flushing the fire hydrants. If we get into the middle of next week and we still don't have the problem under control, we'll add chlorine."

Testing of water samples takes 24 hours to process and the city must show two consecutive days of samples with no coliform bacteria. When results are available, the city will update the information and notify the public as to the status of the water.

Total coliform bacteria are generally not harmful. Sometimes its presence is detected when dirt enters the line from construction or other activities around the system. 

People with severely compromised immune systems, families with infants and some seniors may be at increased risk and may want to contact their health care provider for additional guidance.

The city takes routine samples monthly to test the system for coliform bacteria. Usually coliform bacteria are a sign that there could be a problem with the system’s treatment or distribution system.

Whenever coliform bacteria are detected in any sample, the city performs follow up testing to see if other bacteria of greater concern, such as fecal E. coli, may be present. Those bacteria have not been found in any samples taken. If these organisms are detected, the public will be notified immediately. Residents will also be informed when water samples show no bacteria present.

The city anticipates the problem will be resolved within a few days, Werner said.

For more information, call 777-9857.

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