Havre Daily News
A boil order is still in place for the Hill County Water District and will continue for a while, a Montana Department of Environmental Quality employee said today.
The order was put in place on Aug. 4 when DEQ found coliform and E. coli bacteria in district water.
A bacterial test this week came back positive for coliform, a bacteria which, along with e. coli, indicates the presence of animal or human fecal matter, environmnetal engineer Janet Cherry said.
No E. coli or other harmful bacteria were found in that sample or any others since Aug. 4, she said. Coliform does not cause sickness in most people but can accompany bacteria such as E. coli that do.
The positive test was among 24 tests done over two weeks, Cherry said.
The presence of the bacteria is not surprising given that the district is supplied by surface water, Cherry said. Chlorine is supposed to kill bacteria in district water, but a chlorinating device in Hingham failed, she said. The device has been repaired.
Since Aug. 4, chlorine levels have been measured at acceptable standards, she said. Until samples show a pattern of sufficient chlorine levels and no harmful bacteria, the boil order will stay in effect, Cherry said.
The boil order requires that people boil drinking water vigorously for one minute, Hill County planner and sanitarian Clay Vincent said.
"I had a call from some people that said the word was going around they could freeze their water and it would be fine. That's not true at all," he said.