Well Water Contaminated By Rain – for Aug. 5, 2010

Recent tests show higher-than-average numbers of private wells in southern Manitoba are contaminated with bacteria, the Manitoba government says in a July 30 release.

In some areas as many as two-thirds of the well-water samples tested positive for total coliforms and one-quarter tested positive for E. coli. Bacterial contamination has been found even in areas where aquifers have been considered relatively well protected.

The province will continue to cover 100 per cent of the costs of precautionary bacterial tests for well-water users until August 31, Water Stewardship Minister Christine Melnick says.

“The heavy rainfalls we have experienced across the province this spring and summer appear to have affected the water quality in a number of wells,” said Melnick.

Manitobans who are concerned about the bacterial safety of their well water should consume boiled water or an appropriate alternative water source such as bottled water until test results for their well water are satisfactory.

Water samples should be marked 2010 Flood and sent to Maxxam Analytics, Unit D, 675 Berry St., Winnipeg, Man. R3H 1A7. More information is also available at 204-772-7276 or toll free at 1-800-665-8566.

For further details on water testing, contact the local Manitoba Water Stewardship or Manitoba Conservation office, the Manitoba Office of Drinking Water at 204-945-5762 or 1-888-315- 9257 (toll free) or Health Links-Info Santé at 204- 788-8200.

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