Recent Violation of a Drinking Water Standard
Posted: July 5, 2011
Our water system recently violated a drinking water standard and although this incident was not an emergency, residents have a right to know what happened and what was done to correct this situation.
Tests showed coliform bacteria in the Township of Randolph’s water system.
The township routinely monitors for drinking water contaminants. It took five samples to test for the presence of coliform bacteria during the month of June. Four of those samples showed the presence of total coliform bacteria. The standard is that no more than one sample per month or five percent of samples may do so.
What should you do?
You do not need to boil your water or take other corrective actions. However, if you have specific health concerns, please consult your doctor.
If you have a severely compromised immune system, have an infant, are pregnant or are elderly, you may be at an increased risk and should seek advice from your care provider about drinking this water.
General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1.800.426.4791.
What does this mean?
This is not an emergency. If it had been you would have been notified within 24 hours. Total coliform are generally not harmful themselves. Coliforms are bacteria which are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that other, potentially harmful bacteria may be present. Coliforms were found in more samples than allowed and this was a warning of potential problems.
Usually, coliforms are a sign that there could be a problem with the system’s treatment or distribution (pipes). Whenever we detect coliform bacteria in any sample, we do follow-up testing to see if other bacteria of greater concern, such as fecal coliform or E.Coli, are present. We did not find any of these bacteria in our subsequent testing at all four sampling locations.
We will investigate our method of sampling, flush the system if needed, review methods of operation with the sample taker and our analytical laboratory.
For more information, please contact Ralph Carchia, the engineering administrator at 973.989.7066 or Tom Spring, the director of public works at 973.989.7086.