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Monthly Coliform Bacteria Standards Not Met and
Regulatory Requirements Not Followed for the
McCloud C.S.D. Public Drinking Water System
We routinely monitor for drinking water contaminants including coliform bacteria on a monthly basis and exceeded the coliform bacteria standard for five calendar months between August 2013 and July 2015. We also did not follow the proper coliform sampling procedures for five calendar months between August 2013 and July 2015. Although these regulatory violations do not constitute an emergency, as our customers, you have a right to know what happened and what we did to correct this situation.
The basic coliform standard is that no more than one sample per month may show the presence of total coliform bacteria, and that all samples must be reported to the California State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water in Redding by the tenth day of the following month. If a routine monthly coliform sample is positive for coliform bacteria, follow-up samples must be taken, including a sample from the spring source. We did not meet these requirements on multiple occasions.
Usually, coliform bacteria are a sign that there could be a problem with our source water or the distribution system (pipes and tanks). Whenever we detect coliform bacteria in any sample, we are required to do follow-up testing and check for the presence of other bacteria of greater concern, such as fecal coliform or E. coli. Though we did not take all of the follow-up samples all of the time, we did NOT find any fecal coliform or E.coli bacteria in any of the water samples taken from our drinking water system.
What should you do?
You do not need to boil your water or take other corrective actions.
This is not an emergency. Total coliform bacteria are generally not harmful. Coliforms are bacteria which are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that there may be leaks, openings, or pathways into the water system.
People with severely compromised immune systems, infants, and some elderly may be at increased risk. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their 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 1 (800) 426-4791.
What Happened? What Was Done?
The Safe Drinking Water Act regulations were not properly followed. We have since changed our operating procedures so that all of our monitoring results are reported directly to the Division of Drinking Water Field Operations Branch in Redding and the correct number of repeat samples will be taken. As of October 2015, we have been using Basic Laboratories in Redding and have not exceeded the coliform standards since this time. Persons wishing more information should contact the McCloud C.S.D. at 530-964-2017.
The California Division of Drinking Water has issued a citation to the McCloud C.S.D. for the violations mentioned above. The citation (CIT 01_01_17C_009_4710006_22) may be viewed at the following web address:
Please share this information with other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.