By Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska
Haines residents can drink municipal tap water again.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation rescinded a boil-water notice issued Wednesday because new tests showed no E. coli bacteria in the water system.
A test processed earlier in the week did find the bacteria, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting and more serious symptoms although no illnesses linked to E. coli were reported this week in Haines.
Borough Manager David Sosa got the news Friday afternoon.
“The test results on all the samples came back negative,” he said. “And as a result, we received a lifting of the boil-water notice that was posted by DEC on the 25th.”
The notice affected homes, offices, restaurants and bars. Some residents turned to bottled water or springs around town.
Officials said more positive test results would require flushing all or part of the municipal water system. That could have taken several days.
“We know that they’ll be some additional testing for us but as far as the residents of Haines are concerned, they can drink their wate,” Sosa said. “And we’ll just continue to work with DEC to make sure we’re taking all the steps necessary to provide for public health.”
Sosa says he wasn’t told why the earlier sample tested positive for E. coli. It could have been a false positive.