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E. coli bacteria turn up in water at Aina Koa park

The problem has been fixed, the Board of Water Supply says

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 10:04 p.m. HST, Oct 19, 2013

Faulty disinfecting equipment allowed E. coli bacteria to be present in drinking water in the Aina Koa area, the Honolulu Board of Water Supply announced today.

The presence of the dangerous bacteria in drinking water is a violation of the federal Total Coliform Rule, which established minimum safety standards for drinking water.

BWS official said a "bacterial presence" was initially detected on Thursday in a test sample collected on Wednesday from the Aina Koa Neighborhood Park area (E. coli testing takes 24 hours to complete). Another follow-up set of samples taken on Thursday indicated lower-than-normal chlorine levels.

On Friday, one of the follow-up samples was also found to have been contaminated with E. coli.

During a subsequent inspection of all Aina Koa well stations and reservoirs, the BWS staff traced the problem to a "breakdown" in equipment that adds chlorine to water at Aina Koa Well II. Repairs to the system were completed on Friday and follow-up testing revealed no further evidence of the bacteria.

The water board reported the positive test to the state Department of Health on Friday. The department later informed BWS officials of the federal violation and issued a Tier 1 Notice of violation as part of standard procedure. Such notice required BWS to inform the public about the contamination .

 E. coli is found in human and animal waste or in tropical, subtropical or temperate soils and can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches or other ailments in humans. The bacteria can be especially harmful to infants, young children, the elderly and people with severely compromised immune systems. E. coli in water can be destroyed by boiling or chlorinating.

BWS advises anyone at increased risk of being affected by E. coli to contact their health-care provider.

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Bothrops wrote:
This water was from a well? How deep? Is our groundwater contaminated?
on October 19,2013 | 06:53PM
gobisan wrote:
Wow such thirsty news!
on October 19,2013 | 10:10PM
false wrote:
Know someone who worked in a pump station. It was beyond filthy. He got a systemic blood infection from cleaning himself up with the fox tail he used in the station. Health inspectors need to inspect Pump stations like they do eating places! First hand experience. Don't take the "blah, blah, blah" lightly.
on October 20,2013 | 05:33AM
kingsharkey808 wrote:
I didn't realize that water in HI was chlorinated. Is chlorine just used periodically when incidents of E. coli are detected?
on October 20,2013 | 06:36AM
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