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The water supply in Neligh recently tested positive for coliforms, but city officials said it is "completely safe" to consume.
Superintendent Dean Bly said a slight amount of coliform was detected in two samples of water submitted to the Nebraska Department of Health. He said this is not an emergency. If it had been, residents would have been notified immediately.
“The water is completely safe,” Bly said. “Once we receive two bad samples in a row, we are required to notify all residents, but the water is safe. This is a small level or coliform, not E. coli”
Neligh is on public notice of the violation of drinking water microbiological standards. The violation consists of two total coliform samples testing positive during the month of October. The standard is no more than one sample per month may be positive for total coliforms for systems that collect fewer than 40 samples per month.
According to the notice, residents do not need to boil the water or take any other correction actions. People with severely compromised immune systems, infants and some elderly may be at increased risk and should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers.
Bly said the water is tested twice a month. The first sample that came back positive was in early October. Bly said the City tested four more locations a couple of weeks later and one of those samples was positive. He said the two positive samples were from different locations.
The City of Neligh was required to notify residents of the positive sample, and Bly said city employees delivered notices to residents yesterday. Typically, the notice would have been sent in a utility statement, but those had already been sent.
The notification said coliforms are a sign that there could be a problem with water treatment or distribution system pipes. Whenever coliform bacteria is detected in any sample, follow-up testing occurs to see if other bacteria of greater concern, such as E. coli or fecal coliform are present.
The City of Neligh did not find fecal coliform or E. coli present.
Bly said questions regarding the water samples can be directed to him by calling 402-929-3994.