Article courtesy of Dillion Tabish | March 4, 2015 | Flathead Beacon | Shared as educational material
Crews in Bigfork are flushing hydrants and treating the water supply with chlorine in an effort to eliminate bacteria that was discovered last month.
Officials with the Bigfork Water and Sewer District said the community’s water supply was contaminated by traces of total coliform bacteria, which is commonly found in soil or vegetation. Coliform will not likely cause illness unless someone has a compromised immune system, according to the U.S. Department of Environmental Quality.
Julie Spencer, district manager of the water and sewer district in Bigfork, said the contamination is likely a result of the water main extension that occurred in town last fall.
“They probably got dirt in the line,” she said.
Spencer emphasized that the contamination is not an emergency and that a boil order has not been issued; such an order would advise residents to boil their tap water for drinking or other human-consumption uses like cooking.
Crews have flushed the water system and added safe levels of chlorine the past two weeks to eliminate the bacteria, Spencer said. Samples were pulled this week to monitor the water supply and results will be announced in the coming days.