The City of Globe’s public water system detected fecal indicators (E. coli bacteria) in one of our six wells. As our customers, you have a right to know what happened and what we are doing to correct this situation. During the month of September, we had positive total coliform bacteria results, which triggered additional sampling. As required by EPA’s Ground Water Rule, one of our follow-up steps was to collect samples from our wells. On September 24, 2012, we learned that the sample collected from Well #1 on September 20, 2012 tested positive for a fecal indicator (E. coli bacteria). We have taken the well offline and we are now conducting additional sampling of the well and distribution system to determine the extent of the problem and are conducting a thorough investigation to determine the source of the contamination.
Inadequately treated or inadequately protected water may contain disease-causing organisms. Fecal indicators are microbes whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause shortterm health effects, such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems. These symptoms are not only caused by organisms in drinking water. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may want to seek medical advice.
What should I do? DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST. Bring all water to a rolling boil for a minimum of one minute, and let it cool before using. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water. You may also use bottled water. Use boiled or bottled water for all consumptive purposes including but not limited to drinking, making ice, preparing food, brushing teeth, hand washing/bathing, and washing dishes until further notice. Please contact your veterinarian if you have questions about providing water to household pets without boiling the water first.
In addition, if you have a compromised immune system, have an infant, or are elderly, you may be at increased risk and should seek advice about drinking water from your health care providers. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791. If you have specific health concerns, consult your doctor. We are also providing regular updates on this situation on all local radio stations.
What is being done? In response to this situation, we sent notices to all of our customers within 24 hours of learning of this positive sample. We are conducting a thorough investigation to determine the source of the contamination and will be working with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to implement corrective actions to ensure our water supply is protected against contamination. We will keep you informed of the steps we are taking to protect your drinking water and will provide information on any steps you should be taking, until this problem is corrected. You can go to our website at: globeaz.gov for updates on this situation.