Department identifies water systems that fail to comply with testing requirements

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has released a list of 38 drinking water systems that have chronically failed to complete required bacteriological testing. The department requires all public water systems to test for bacteria at least once a month to verify these systems are providing safe drinking water to the public. While failing to monitor does not necessarily mean that the water is unsafe, routine testing is a crucial part of maintaining a safe water supply...

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, Dec. 15, 2008 -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has released a list of 38 drinking water systems that have chronically failed to complete required bacteriological testing.

The department requires all public water systems to test for bacteria at least once a month to verify these systems are providing safe drinking water to the public. While failing to monitor does not necessarily mean that the water is unsafe, routine testing is a crucial part of maintaining a safe water supply.

The vast majority of community and non-community public water systems in Missouri comply with all monitoring requirements and meet all drinking water standards. Chronic violators are the exception rather than the rule, as this current list of 38 systems represents only 1.4 percent of the approximately 2,800 public drinking water systems in Missouri.

Bacteriological testing can be the first step in identifying and correcting a problem. The next step is to investigate the cause of any bad samples and perform corrective action, such as disinfecting and flushing the system. When a public water system has a record of both failing to monitor and a history of exceeding contaminant levels, this may raise concerns about the unknown quality of the drinking water.

If a water sample tests positive for total coliform bacteria, further testing is then performed for fecal coliform or E. coli bacteria, which can directly cause gastrointestinal illness. Most samples that test positive for total coliform, test negative for fecal coliform or E. coli. The total coliform-positive samples that are listed tested negative for fecal coliform or E. coli, unless specifically stated otherwise.

>> View more details on the violators listed

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