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UPDATED INFO: Water in Fall River safe to drink

By: Rachelle Baillon Email
By: Rachelle Baillon Email

UPDATED Friday August 23, 2013 --- 4:20 p.m.

FALL RIVER, Wis. --- You can drink the water in Fall River, Wi. without worry. The village says new test results show there is no bacteria in the drinking water. This means the village will stop using chlorine to clean the water.

A water sample collected August 15th showed the presence of coliform bacteria. Further sampling on August 19th confirmed the presence of the bacteria. As a precaution, there was an increase in the chlorine concentration in the water supply.

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UPDATED Thursday, August 22, 2013--6:20p.m.
FALL RIVER--You know how Fall River feels about its water pretty much the minute you pull into town: A sign boasts of "quality on tap" and at the village municipal building, a "water taste test winner" award is proudly displayed.

But you know something's up when the tap water is all of a sudden the talk of the town in this quiet, little community. "We have young kids so my initial reaction is bottled water," said Jerad Pearson, a Fall River resident.

We caught up with Pearson minutes after he found out that the village's water has tested positive for Coliform Bacteria. "I hope they take care of it, the water bills are pretty expensive in here," he said.

So what is Coliform Bacteria? We're told that by itself, it's generally not harmful--in fact, it's often found in things like soil. But it can indicate that something more serious is also in the water, like E.Coli.

"We're very proud of our water here so...people get a little excited about it," said Village Trustee Jeff Slotten. He said they've tested for E. Coli and found that it is not in the Fall River tap water. He said they found out about the Coliform Bacteria a couple of days ago, so they're asking anyone who used the water between August 15th and 20th to take precautions. "We're asking that if you do have any sort of water, ice cubes, maybe drinks that you've mixed with water over the last say week or so, you might want to consider discarding those things," he said.

They're currently chlorinating the water, so Slotten said it's safe for normal uses like drinking and showering. He said they're re-testing the water and should know by tomorrow if the Coliform is gone from the system.

Pearson said he'll follow-up to make sure the Coliform is taken care of, but added that he has faith in the village's officials. "I think that they'll address it quick," he said. "They have my full support. I don't believe that they won't take care of the issue."

Officials told us that they think a recent water main break may have contributed to the Coliform ending up in the water. The positive sample was taken near that spot. No other spots tested positive.

Again, they're currently chlorinating the water, so you can use the tap right now.

They expect to know tomorrow if the water's all-clear and have been posting updates on their website and in public places.
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Posted Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 --- 6:20 a.m.

A warning for residents in the Village of Fall River. A water sample collected on Thursday, August 15th, showed the presence of coliform bacteria. Further sampling on Monday confirmed the presence of the bacteria. As a precaution, there is an increase in the chlorine concentration in the water supply. People with severely compromised immune systems, infants and elderly may be at increased risk.

Coliform bacteria are generally not harmful themselves but their presence indicates that other, potentially harmful, bacteria may be present.

As a precautionary measure, any ice cubes, beverages, baby formula or other food items made with water between Thursday, August 15th and Tuesday, August 20th should be discarded and their containers or ice-makers cleaned.

Waterworks will be collecting additional samples and will continue under the direction of the DNR. Customers will be notified immediately if this is upgraded to a boil/bottled water advisory. Once the DNR gives an all clear, notices will be posted at the Village Hall, Post Office and banks.


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