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Town of Wrentham Issues Drinking Water Warning – Non-Boil Water Notice

WRENTHAM — The following notice is being issued today by Town Manager Kevin Sweet and Director of Public Works Brian Antonioli:

Our water system routinely monitors for the presence of drinking water contaminants to ensure the safety of the water supply. On 5/9/24, our water system was notified that a water sample collected on 5/7/24 from 05G Well #5 tested positive for E.coli, which is a fecal indicator. Fecal indicators are used to detect ground water sources that may be susceptible to fecal contamination which may contain harmful viruses or bacteria. Well #5 is one of 5 wells that supplies drinking water to our system. When we learned of the E.coli positive sample, we turned the well off.

During normal operations, water from Well #5 is pumped from the ground and it is disinfected with chlorine to kill viruses and bacteria, including E.coli. The chlorinated water is delivered to you. Chlorinated water samples from the water distribution system were also collected on 5/7/24. None of the chlorinated samples tested positive for E.coli. Only the untreated sample from Well #5 tested positive. Even though none of the chlorinated samples tested positive, our chlorine disinfection system has not been certified by MassDEP as 4-log compliant as required by the new regulation, the Ground Water Rule (GWR). The new GWR requires us to notify you while we collect more samples, wait for the results, and inspect our water system to determine if a risk of fecal contamination exists.

What should I do?
You do not need to boil your water but you should discard all ice, beverages, formula and uncooked food products made with tap water collected on or before 5/7/24.

E.coli is a fecal indicator and it was detected in the well water for your system. Even though the well with the fecal indicator is no longer in use, the United States Environmental Protection Agency requires us to provide you with this Notice and the following information on fecal indicators.

Fecal indicators are microbes whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, some of the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems.

These symptoms can also be caused by issues unrelated to drinking water. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, or, if you have specific health concerns, you may want to discuss such concerns with your doctor. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

Please share this information with all the 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.

What happened? What is being done?
While we continue to evaluate the situation and wait for the results of additional sampling to determine if a risk of contamination exists, we are doing the following:

-Well #5 was immediately taken out of service and isolated from the water system. The well was then pumped to waste in order to take 5 follow up samples.

-We are in contact with MassDEP who is evaluating the actions we are taking to ensure safe water is being delivered to you. If a risk of contamination exists, you will receive additional notification.

For more information
For more information, please contact either Brian Antonioli or Dean Johnson at 508-384-5477 or or