Hightstown residents will receive a hand-delivered notification this week after bacteria was found in the drinking water last month, officials said.
Two out of six routine water samples turned up trace amounts of coliform bacteria in July, and subsequent tests on Aug. 1 were negative, according to New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Bob Considine.
If there is more than one positive sample in a month, it is standard to notify residents and conduct additional testing, Considine said.
The Borough received test results Aug. 2 after an independent testing company collected the samples and gave the results to the NJDEP, Hightstown Business Administrator Michael Theokas said. Under NJDEP regulations, the Borough has 30 days to notify residents. He said in addition to hand-delivering notifications this week to expedite the process, an announcement was also posted on the Borough website.
Theokas emphasized the drinking water is safe and this is not an emergency situation. As a precaution the supply well was disinfected using chlorine.
Considine said coliform bacteria could mean other types of bacteria are in the water, but none turned up in additional testing.
“Determining what could have caused such a reading in a short-term situation would be very difficult, if not impossible,” Considine said in an email.
Coliform bacteria is a “microscopic organisms that typically originate in the intestinal tract of warm-blooded animals, although they are also present in vegetation and soil, and can make their way to water sources via runoff,” Considine said.
For health-related questions, contact Health Officer Jill Swanson at email@example.com or at 609-936-8400.