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City of Lincoln
Mayor's Office

2004 Media Releases

June 17, 2004
For More Information Contact:
Scott Holmes, Health Department, 441-8019
Steve Owen, Lincoln Water System, 441-7571
Dave Norris, Citizen Information Center, 441-7547

Drinking Water Precautions No Longer Needed In Northeast Lincoln
Latest water samples show no coliform bacteria

The Lincoln Water System (LWS) and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department said drinking water precautions are no longer needed in Northeast Lincoln. Testing of water samples taken from northeast Lincoln show no signs of coliform bacteria that was detected last week.

Testing conducted last week revealed coliform bacteria within an area bordered by Adams Street on the south, 70th Street on the east and Cotner Boulevard on the northwest. The City had recommended residents in the affected area with infants or health problems boil their drinking water or use bottled water as a precaution until results from additional samples showed no presence of the bacteria. Upon discovering the coliform bacteria last week, LWS immediately flushed the affected areas and then began special water sampling efforts in the affected area.

Based on adequate flushing of the system and the results of confirmatory testing conducted this week, drinking water precautions in the affected area are no longer needed and residents should feel safe in drinking and using water for all purposes.

Coliform bacteria are very common in the environment and can be present in soil. However, the presence of coliform is an indication that other bacteria could be present and cause health problems.

The source of the problem was a construction area where two water service lines were damaged and repaired. Coliform bacteria can enter a home plumbing system through a damaged water service line especially if exposed to soil. Other sources of coliform bacteria in water can be from backflow if water pressure is lost in the system or from bacteria that are present on the inside walls of water pipes which may become dislodged during high water use.

The City of Lincoln uses appropriate methods for disinfection of water to guard against harmful bacteria in the water system. LWS also conducts routine sampling each week throughout the City, including the area near 70th and Adams, to monitor the quality of water supplied to Lincoln residents so that it meets or exceeds regulatory requirements.

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