Boil Order for Pingree Grove Residents After E. coli Found in Water Sample

A boil order was issued Friday November 9, 2018 in Pingree Grove after a water sample tested positive for E.coli bacteria, according to village officials said. One of seven samples taken in the Village of Pingree Grove showed the presence of total coliform. The village alert says people must boil water before drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and preparing food.

“Total coliform or E. coli bacteria were found in the water supply …” according to a post on the official village website. “These bacteria can make you sick, and are a particular concern for people with weakened immune systems.”

Village Clerk Dawn Grivetti said village hall was informed about the issue about noon Friday, November 9, 2018. About 3,500 boil order notices were hand-delivered to residents Friday afternoon, according to Grivetti.

The Village of Pingree Grove advises that bacterial contamination can take place “when increased runoff enters the drinking water source (for example, following heavy rains)” or “due to a break in the distribution system (pipes), a failure in the water treatment process, or through a cross-connection.”

The village had been operating on one well after its other well failed a bacteria test and was shut off, Director of Public Works Pat Doherty told the village board on Monday.

The board approved an agreement with Municipal Well and Pump, Inc. to chlorinate the shut off well at a cost not to exceed $14,000. Chlorination was expected to fix the problem but wasn’t a 100 percent guaranteed solution, Doherty said.

The Village of Pingree will continue sampling until two consecutive tests show no presence of bacteria and the water no longer needs to be boiled, Grivetti said. Officials anticipate resolving the problem within 48 hours.

Illinois environmental regulations require monthly water testing, village officials said.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “A water sample is unsafe, present or total coliform positive if coliform bacteria are found in the sample. Generally coliforms are bacteria that are not harmful and are naturally present in the environment. They are used as an indicator that other, potentially harmful, fecal bacteria (indicated by the E. coli species) could be present.” Contaminated water can also occur during water main breaks when sewer leakage from areas near the water main break can enter a broken water main with abnormally low water pressure.

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