Boil Order Lifted

The Boil Water Order for Town of Marion residents and Town of Rochester residents connected to Marion’s town water supply was lifted on Tuesday afternoon.

            Shortly after 3:00 pm, the Town of Marion sent out the following bulletin titled, “Drinking Water Problem Corrected.”

            “The Town of Marion was notified on October 6, 2021, that total coliform and E. coli was present in the drinking water, and immediately issued a boil water order per Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) requirements. We are pleased to report that the problem has been corrected and that it is no longer necessary to boil water prior to consumption. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience.”

            Despite testing free of E. coli bacteria on three consecutive days last week, town officials were disappointed on Friday to learn that the state Department of Environmental Protection was hesitant to lift the boil order for Marion (and Rochester’s affected residents) due to the presence of total coliform in one day’s samples in small amounts and at two locations.

            After three consecutive clean testing days, Mattapoisett was authorized by DEP to lift its Boil Order earlier last week, but Marion and Fairhaven boil orders stayed in place. Marion’s Boil Order continued on Monday despite further clean testing but was finally lifted on Tuesday, only hours before the Special Town Meeting.

            Fairhaven, Marion, Mattapoisett, and Rochester are member towns of the Mattapoisett River Valley Water District Commission and Water Protection Supply Advisory Committee, both of which held their regular meetings on October 19.

            The first indications of the problem with MRV water were detected on September 14 in samples collected by the Town of Fairhaven from its raw water well at Tinkham Lane. Those samples contained E. coli bacteria. The well was immediately taken out of service and later discovered to need a wall repair.

            The positive test results reached the entrance to the MRV water treatment plant in Mattapoisett, resulting in an October 6 Boil Order for all towns fed by the plant.

            Flushing and chlorination led to three straight days of clean results for E. coli.

By Mick Colageo

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