Roane Central sample had bacteria

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By Damon Lawrence

Tests conducted by the Roane Central Utility District in June showed coliform bacteria in the drinking water.

“Coliforms are bacteria which are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that other, potentially harmful, bacteria may be present,” the utility said in a newspaper ad. “Coliforms were found in more samples than allowed and this was a warning of potential problems.”

The utility said boiling water is not necessary, but did advise customers to consult a doctor if they had health concerns.

“We have increased sampling for coliform bacteria to catch the problem early if it happens again,” the ad said. “Further testing shows that this problem has been resolved.”

Shannon Ashford, a communications officer with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, said bacteriological testing is sensitive and a positive result can occur if care is not taken in the sampling technique or at the sampling site.

“When a positive result occurs, TDEC requires repeat sampling at the location that received a positive result, upstream of the positive location and downstream of the positive location to confirm whether there may be an issue with the water system,” Ashford said. “In Roane Central’s case, all of the repeat samples yielded negative for total coliform results.”