SISTERS, Ore. - (Update: Contaminated well identified, shut down; chlorination underway)
One of three wells that serve nearly 600 homes in an unincorporated area north of Sisters has been identified as a source of E. coli and total coliform bacteria contamination that prompted a boil-water notice late last week, and efforts are underway to chlorinate the system, officials said.
In an update sent to customers on Tuesday, the Indian Meadow Water Co. said the well was shut down after tests identified the source of the problem and the water supply was shifted to the company's other two wells. The next step is to decontaminate the reservoir with chlorine and flush the distribution system, as the state requires.
"This may temporarily cause some chlorine taste to the water," the notice said.
Once those steps are completed, the boil-water notice issued late last week will be lifted. But officials said each of the steps require testing, so it could be Friday or Saturday before it's lifted. Once the system is providing safe water, the contaminated well will be dealt with, the update stated.
The water company said it will have recorded updates at 541-719-0137.
The boil-water notice was sent to customers after monthly routine water samples taken last Thursday and Friday tested positive for E. coli and coliform bacteria the first day, and only for the total coliform the next day, Lynn Lounsbury said in the initial boil-water notice.
The Oregon Health Authority considers any confirmed E. coli positive sample as a public health hazard and violation of drinking water standards requiring notification of customers.