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City of Delray Beach Drinking Water Notice

City of Delray Beach Drinking Water Notice 

Routine Tests Indicate Presence of Coliform Bacteria in Potable Water


The City of Delray Beach Public Utilities Department routinely monitors for the presence of drinking water contaminants.  Compliance samples were taken during the month of April.  More than 5% of those samples showed the presence of total coliform, but NOT the presence of harmful bacteria.  The standard is that no more than five percent of samples per month can test positive for coliform.  When the standard is exceeded, regulations require that the water provider issue a public notice to its customers, as you have a right to know what happened, what you should do, and what is being done to correct the situation.


What Does This Mean? 

This is not an emergency.  Total coliform bacteria are generally not harmful themselves.

Coliforms are bacteria which are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that other potentially-harmful bacteria may be present.   


Coliforms were found in more samples than allowed and this was a warning of potential problems, usually a sign that there could be a problem with the system's treatment or distribution systems.  Whenever coliform bacteria is detected in any sample, testing for the presence of other bacteria of greater concern is immediately performed, such as for fecal coliform or E. Coli.  Testing did not find any of these bacteria of fecal origin like E-coli in our water.  If testing had indicated the presence of these greater bacteria, you would have been notified immediately.  


What Should You Do?

You do NOT need to boil your water or take corrective actions.  However, if you have specific health concerns, consult your doctor.

People with severely compromised immune systems, infants, and some elderly may be at increased risk.  These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers.  General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from the EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.


What Was Done by the City's Public Utilities Department?

The distribution system was flushed by means of opening and running fire hydrants until subsequent testing indicated the desired water quality.  Additionally, as routine preventive maintenance, an alternative enhanced disinfection procedure of the distribution system was conducted from April 25 to May 5 2014.  During this time, free chlorine was utilized as the primary disinfectant, as well as enhanced hydrant flushing.  Increased sampling and testing for coliform bacteria was conducted, and will continue.  To date, routine sampling indicates acceptable levels for total coliform.


For additional information, please contact the Public Utilities Department at (561) 243-7312 between 7:00 am and 3:30 pm - Monday through Friday.

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