Delaware--Water Now Safe To Drink After Failure At Treatment Plant : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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United Water of Delaware's water is safe to drink, state health officials said Wednesday afternoon.

By KIM DOUGLASS Staff reporter 03/09/2000

They had worried the water was contaminated after a mechanical failure at a treatment plant Monday. For two days, many of the company's 100,000 users near Newark and Claymont were asked to boil their water.

United and state officials tested water samples at various locations over those two days, looking for chlorine, bacteria and turbid, murky conditions.

"Nothing ever appeared," Division of Public Health spokeswoman Allison Taylor Levine said.

That's good news to Perry Wilanz, the morning manager at Oliver's restaurant in the Holiday Inn on Del. 273 near Newark.

The restaurant staff had been buying water and stopped using the coffee maker and soda fountain machines, Wilanz said.

"It was inconvenient," she said. "But it's better to take the precautions."

United and state officials Wednesday afternoon notified some of the larger users that the water was safe.

The problem started about 10 a.m. Monday, when tests at the Stanton water plant showed high levels of turbidity, or excessive particles in the water.

The system was not producing enough of a particular filtration substance, Levine said. That substance causes unwanted particles and organisms to clump so they cannot pass through filters.

The system was operating normally by 4 p.m. Monday. But health officials were worried that two disease-causing microorganisms, giardia and cryptosporidium, could have passed into the system. The contaminants normally are not fatal but can cause diarrhea, flatulence, abdominal cramps and loss of appetite.

Boil-water notices are issued about twice a year in Delaware, Levine said.

"United, like all the water suppliers, has monitors that are constantly checking their supply, which is why they were able to fix it so fast," she said.

Reach Kim Douglass at 324-2895 or ===================================

-- Dee (, March 09, 2000

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