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Date: Fri 25-Oct-1996

Date: Fri 25-Oct-1996

Publication: Bee

Author: DOTTIE

Quick Words:

schools-Head-O-Meadow-water

Full Text:

Head O' Meadow Water OK To Drink

B Y D OROTHY E VANS

They're drinking well water again at Head O' Meadow School, thanks to negative

coliform results on a series of five water tests taken October 21 in the

school's two wells.

When routine tests taken at the end of September showed an unexplainable rise

in coliform content, the school's drinking and cooking water systems were shut

down.

Coliform is a form of bacteria found in the intestines of all animals and is

not considered dangerous at very low levels. However, an elevated coliform

count in well water might indicate the presence of other, more dangerous

strains of bacteria and is a cause for concern.

For that reason, the administration had decided to close off the school's

drinking fountains and brought in bottled water, which the students and staff

have been drinking over the last three weeks.

"We're all clear," said Building and Grounds Supervisor Dom Posca Thursday

morning, adding that the state Department of Public Health had been notified

and the school had gone back on line with its water system.

Even better news, Mr Posca said, was the fact that all five tests were taken

on Monday of this week, just after the nor'easter dumped between 4 and 6

inches of rain in the area over the weekend.

"That means the wells are sealed adequately and we're not getting surface

water contamination," Mr Posca said.

He explained that surface or ground water runoff usually does contain silt and

contaminants, and if runoff from the storm had seeped through the Head O'

Meadow well casings, the water might not have passed the test for clarity and

purity.

Mr Posca plans to retest the Head O' Meadow wells again November 21 and

December 21, each time taking five samples from different locations within the

system, as was done Monday.

If the water continues to be clear, he'll return to his former routine of

testing the school wells four times a year, once during each season.