Thursday, June 11, 2015

E.coli In Greensboro Drinking Water

How does E.coli get into the drinking water? Is it the fact that the plumbing in that neighborhood dates back to 1923, some 35 years before the area was annexed by the City of Greensboro or some other reason we don't yet know about? That is the question Nancy Barakat Vaughan, Tony Wilkins, Marikay Abuzuaiter, Jamal Fox and the rest of the Greensboro City Council should be addressing.

Also, how often does this happen? Is this an isolated incident? Is it isolated to the Bessemer Community, aka Northeast Greensboro? Is it a result of the City having ignored the east since it's annexation in 1958? Could it be the result of the area's ancient plumbing built by local developers?

I mean, seriously, in the 2600 block of Textile Drive the sewer main literally passes under a house.

I asked these questions yesterday after Fox8 aired the following report, Greensboro water sampling tests positive for E. coli; 2 schools closed Thursday:

But after waiting a day with no reply I decided to research the issue. Here's what the Environmental Protection Agency has to say:


"How does E. coli or other fecal coliforms get in the water? 
E. coli comes from human and animal wastes. During rainfalls, snow melts, or other types of precipitation, E. coli may be washed into creeks, rivers, streams, lakes, or ground water. When these waters are used as sources of drinking water and the water is not treated or inadequately treated, E. coli may end up in drinking water."

Which begs the question asked by Thessa Pickett:

"Moreover, how does it only effect 2 schools and 13 residential homes?"

AND Is the rest of Greensboro effected? Madam Mayor? Tony Wilkins, Marikay Abuzuaiter? Anyone?

For those who might not know, Greensboro's municipal water lines form what is basically a big loop or series of loops that moves our drinking water constantly and from one part of the city to another. Only on dead end streets do water lines not connect to other water lines on both ends. This means that any contaminant found in any water line anywhere in the city has the potential to move to other parts of the city.

Maybe it's nothing but when questions don't get answered I don't just assume all is well.

Update: False Alarm! From Councilwoman Marikay Abuzuaiter  

"First, let me say - Thank goodness it was a "false-positive"!
To answer Thessa Pickett's question I checked with the Department Head for water and sewer Steve Drew. There are computer flow models of the entire distribution system and the flow patterns are predictable along with clear samples that were taken in several points along the system. This way they were able to identify strategic "pinch" points that they could isolate and contain very quickly. Hope this helps explain why it was isolated to the 2 schools and 13 homes."