WESTERLY — A boil water advisory for customers of the Westerly Water Department has been lifted after water samples collected on Thursday were determined to be clean, based on tests conducted Friday.
A boil water advisory had been implemented Wednesday evening when tests revealed the presence at one of the system’s wells of E. coli bacteria, a fecal indicator that indicates possible contamination with human or animal wastes.
The Bradford 2 Well, where the sample that tested positive for E. coli came from, was off-line at the time the sample was taken and remains off-line. Paul Corina, director of public works, said the well will remain off-line until the state Department of Health allows it to be reintegrated into the system. Next week Water Department employees will inspect and chlorinate the well, which will then be purged to rid it of all traces of chlorine. More tests will be performed for several days in succession.
Additional steps ordered by the health department will also be performed before the well can be brought back online, Corina said.
A disinfectant that is regularly used in the distribution system was increased following the positive sample, Corina said. It was the first time the system has had a bacteria problem in 17 years.
“The town would like to thank everyone for their patience. We’re very thankful and appreciative,” Corina said.
Town Manager Derrik M. Kennedy praised Corina and his department.
“Paul Corina did a great job ensuring we followed, to the letter of the law, the DOH process and protocols,” Kennedy said.
Water service customers were notified of the boil water advisory through a news release sent to local and state media. Those signed up also received newsflashes from the town website. The release was also posted on the town’s website and on its Facebook page. Automated calls were made to subscribers through both the Westerly and Stonington police departments.
Instructions for signing up for news flashes through the town website can be found by clicking on the “notify me” tab on the town’s site at http://westerlyri.gov. To sign up for automated calls through the Westerly Police Department go to http://www.westerlypolice.org/.
For more information about the water system, call Corina, director of public works, at 401-348-2561.