Bacteria Turns up in Hightstown Drinking Water Samples

All subsequent tests were negative, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection.

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 jswanson@westwindsortwp.com or at 609-936-8400.


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Christina Marie August 15, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Clearly another example of our taxes at work...why does the town put so much emphasis on taxi cab drivers YET neglect to inform us on the real issues at hand?? Wake up Hightstown!
terribly tired of this August 15, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Hmmmmm.....well the best example of neglect that I can think of......townspeople not paying attention, stage set by past mayor, his wife and council. Before you know it, we're on the sanctuary city list, single family homes bought up by the handful to be turned into boardinghouses, taxis, taxis, taxis. There are some things we're just not supposed to know. Don't turn your back for a second.
Torry Watkins August 15, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Dana For what it's worth, I'm quite sure that St James is not on the Hightstown system.
Christina Marie August 16, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Where is the hand delivered notice...didn't get it yet? Heck with the notice, we deserve the report from the DEP...this happened over a month ago! Why did it happen? What was the root cause? What has been done to fix it? What has been done to prevent it from happening again? How many other samples were drawn since last month and tested ? Give us answers not bull. Stop blaming the PREVIOUS mayors. We have people responsible NOW! Previous mayors and councils are history. Who cares....it is now the mayor and council be held accountable for this type of action.
Jasha M. Levi August 19, 2012 at 02:58 PM
I, too, was surprised to see a letter being hand delivered to my mailbox one month after the finding of bacteria in our water. Are people sleeping on their jobs, deciding what is important and what not for us to know, or don't care? Have they given up, disgusted with the rest of citizenry? The anger I hear from most of the comments reflects the state of mind we are in: mistrust, belief in evildoers, conspiracies even, blaming everyone for how we feel suddenly powerless to have any say in even the smallest, easiest to handle events, such as telling people to boil their water for a few day. For crying out loud, nobody would blame the people responsible for our water to have put feces in it. Or were they afraid that in the current climate, that was possible?


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