***04/30 BOIL ORDER UPDATE***
Since the enclosed monthly newsletter was written a week ago, the situation has changed enough that we think you need the latest information, which will probably be out of date again by the time you get this.
The State mandated boil order has not been lifted, and will remain in effect for an unknown period of time. Apparently, further problems have occurred at the treatment plant, producing water which did not meet State standards for turbidity. This has probably nullified the effort to disinfect our distribution system. It is likely that the process will have to begin over again. We are awaiting instructions from the State Department of Health. At this time, we do not expect a rapid resolution of the problem.
Many of you have inquired about the “true” safety of the water. You have probably felt our answers were evasive, or, at best, imprecise. No doubt many of you are drinking the water without boiling, and have not keeled over yet. But you must understand that you do this at your own risk. While our water tests (and those of the Town’s) have indicated no bacteriological activity, that does not “prove” the water is safe to drink. It only indicates that chlorination has successfully inactivated bacteria and viruses. But those are not the only pathogens that can occur in drinking water.
The organisms that cause the most concern when water is not adequately filtered are Giardia and Cryptosporidium. These are both single-cell intestinal parasites. They live in the gut of many animals, including humans, and can survive in water for a long time. They resist the effects of Chlorine by encasing themselves inside cysts. They are capable of causing diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach cramps, along with fever or other flu-like symptoms. There is no quick and easy test to prove or disprove their existence in the water. The best indicator that the filters are removing these organisms is to measure turbidity. If excess turbidity is present after filtration, then there is a chance that disease-causing organisms are there also.
We urge you to take this boil order seriously, despite its inconvenience. We cannot at this time make any reliable prediction about its duration. Again, we appreciate your cooperative attitude, and we regret that our water system is experiencing this episode. For the most current news, keep checking our website at www.uscdwua.com where regular updates will be posted.