Montrose has been tapping into its water supply since bacteria were found and a boil-water notice was set in February.
While the village has disinfected its two wells twice and flushed and disinfected its distribution system once this year, continuous water samples taken at its wells, office and hall have not been clear of coliform.
The bacteria, which is commonly found in the environment and is generally harmless, can come from different sources like decaying vegetation or old fecal coliforms, but should not be confused with E. coli, which brings a much greater risk.
With sampling peaking at 25 total coliform bacteria per 100 millilitres of water found in February, Montrose administrator Kevin Chartres said “it’s really slowed down.”
In fact, the village has been compliant with Interior Health (IH) standards since the end of August. But with its “patchy history,” IH said it would like to wait until minor rehabilitation (chemical cleaning and camera and pump inspection) is complete over the next two weeks.
“We don’t want this flip flopping, where we say, ‘OK we’re good’ and then we get a couple of bad samples,” said Chartres. “The idea is that hopefully now we do the deeper clean and we get four clear samples and they remove us.”
In the meantime, Chartres has put in an application for a chlorination system grant just in case.
“That ground water protection plan that we got done in 2009 said that our wells were not under the influence of surface water and if we continue to have samples of the wells after we do this next cleaning, then that might have to be reassessed,” he added.