For the second time in as many months, St. Clair residents will receive a letter from the city indicating that a local drinking water system test revealed some contamination.
Public Works Director Ed Bliss informed the St. Clair Board of Aldermen about the situation during its regular meeting on Monday night.
In early December, citizens received a similar letter.
“This letter will be going out to the residents of St. Clair,” said Bliss, who indicated the new letter was scheduled to be sent on Tuesday.
The letter states that a routine test showed an increased level of coliform bacteria at two locations — 1240 Michelle Lane and 106 Crescent Lake Road.
Every month, the city tests its water from five locations that are representative of the water used by residents, the letter states. The tests are intended to confirm the absence or presence of coliform and more harmful bacteria.
“Coliform is a bacterial indicator of more harmful bacteria,” the letter reads. “Positive tests for coliform require further testing for more harmful bacteria.”
The letter states that the city did not find any other bacteria in the water, and Bliss said on Monday that further testing has come back clean at all locations.
“The retests came back negative at both locations,” he told The Missourian.
Bliss and Mayor Ron Blum believe the contamination came from a result of the Springfield Road construction project, which continues on the west side of Highway 30.
“The system is starting to clear itself out,” Bliss said. “I hope this is the last letter we have to send.”
He said the previous water test that came back positive late last year probably also was a result of the Springfield Road project, which is resurfacing the road and adding new water lines from the city limits to Main Street.
As he did in early December, Bliss emphasized the incident should not be a cause for alarm.
The letter sent to local residents states that the city’s water system recently violated a drinking water standard, and although it is not considered an emergency, customers have a right to know what happened, what should be done and what the city is doing to correct the situation.
Bliss said boiling water to ensure it’s safe to use should not be necessary for this type of violation. But, he said individuals with specific health concerns should contact their doctor.
“This is not an emergency,” the letter states. “Total coliform bacteria are generally not harmful themselves.”
It also states that the city is not sure why the tests came back positive, but adds that they could have been contaminated through testing procedures or the system was not adequately flushed prior to testing.
Individuals with questions should contact Bliss at 636-629-0333 or visit him at city hall.