GREAT BARRINGTON — Great Barrington Fire District customers can stop boiling their water.
Officials with the town's chief water supplier said Sunday afternoon that the boil order issued Friday has been lifted, two days after one water sample, collected Thursday, at the source tested positive for E. coli, a fecal matter indicator.
But, the results of five test samples of untreated water taken Friday came back negative, according to Fire District Superintendent Peter Marks.
The district draws its drinking water from an underground aquifer near the Green River, and it's possible that the test result was a false positive.
"I would assume so," Marks told The Eagle.
The district disinfects its water with chlorine, and samples collected Thursday and Friday from the post-treatment, point-of-entry location, storage locations and the locations within the distribution system, including the first customer, did not contain any E. coli or total coliform bacteria.
"Nothing was in jeopardy in our distribution system," Marks noted.
If fecal matter had infiltrated the well water, the microbes in the waste could cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They might pose a special health risk for infants, young children, some senior citizens, and people with severely compromised immune systems, according to the boil-order notice that had gone out to water users.