Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ventnor residents told to boil water after tests show E.coli traces, New Jersey - 30th July 2011

Ventnor residents were advised to boil their water Friday, after test results showed fecal coliform traces — E. coli bacteria — in the city’s drinking water.

That boil-water advisory will continue through this afternoon at the earliest, as city officials await a new round of test results.

Thomas Klein, superintendent of the city’s Water and Sewer Utility, said the drinking water contamination was unrelated to a ruptured sewage line at the intersection of Fulton and Harvard avenues in the city’s Ventnor Heights section.

“There’s no correlation between one incident and the other, other than the fact that they occurred in the same time window,” he said, adding that the pressurized water system is completely separate from the sewer.

Officials urged residents to avoid recreational activities in the bays or canals around Ventnor, including harvesting shellfish from Lakes Bay north of the Margate Bridge.

Klein, at the scene of the line break, said he found out Wednesday that an inflatable plug designed to prevent sewage from entering an abandoned subterranean pipe that ruptured three years ago had failed. The seal was compromised when the sewer main crumbled around it, allowing untreated waste to spill into the water off Ventnor Heights.

Meanwhile, test results Klein received Friday morning revealed that one of nine samples collected from sites across the city Wednesday tested positive for coliform bacteria, later confirmed as E. coli, he said. He declined to say which site tested positive.

“It wouldn’t matter where the test came from because the water mains are all connected,” he said.

Escherichia coli, or E. coli, is a bacteria commonly found in the waste of animals and humans that can cause severe gastrointestinal illness. Read More