DO NOT PANIC.
This notice is to inform you that your water sample contained Coliform Bacteria. These bacteria are not found in drinking water and are an indicator that something might be wrong with your well & distribution system or the sample was taken incorrectly. You might experience flu-like symptoms such as stomachaches, nausea, diarrhea or cramping. Once you stop drinking the water these symptoms will go away.
1. Did you follow the instructions on the back of the water slip? If you set the cap on the counter, took the sample through a hose or the screen on the end of the faucet, rinsed the bottle out or pouring water over from another container could give a false positive test. If you did any of these things, repeat the test with a new bottle.
2. Did you do any plumbing or pump work recently, including replacing the storage tank? State law requires that wells/systems be chlorinated after pump replacements or repairs. It’s a good idea even if you did the plumbing yourself.
3. Is this from a new well? Well drillers usually put the chlorine in the well after completion but if the house has not been completed it may not have gotten into all of the plumbing. The bleach water should be in all the pipes and set at least 8-10 hours (overnight) before running it outside through a hose to remove it. Check with your driller or contractor before resampling so you can have it chlorinated if necessary. The water must be free of bleach before we can test it.
4. One of the most important things to check is the well itself. Is the well cap on good and tight? Try wiggling it. If it moves, that is bad. Insects may have gotten up inside and that could be what’s causing your bacterial problem. Many wells prior to the early 1990’s don’t have an insect-proof well cap. Also check the well casing for cracks or damage, and make sure the small electrical tube next to the casing has not slipped down from the cap. DO NOT TOUCH THE WIRES. If you have any of these problems, contact a licensed well driller for assistance. They are under “water” in the yellow pages.
This is not E.Coli bacteria unless we specifically marked it on your water slip. Only 10% of all water samples are Positive for Coliform Bacteria and only 1% of these are ever E.Coli. There are no bacterially contaminated aquifers (water the wells draw from in the ground) in Jackson County.
We strongly recommend that you do not drink the water until you get a good test.