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Tests Show Coliform Bacteria in MEDICINE ROCKS STATE PARK Water

Montana State Parks - Region 7

Wed Jul 29 00:00:00 MDT 2009

The water system at Medicine Rocks State Park, located between Baker and Ekalaka, MT on State Highway 7, recently violated a drinking water standard. Although this is not an emergency, the public has the right to know what happened, what you should do, and what we are doing to correct this situation.


What should I do?


          You do not need to boil your water or take other corrective actions. However, if you have specific health concerns, consult your doctor.

          People with severely compromised immune systems, infants, and some elderly may be at increased risk. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.


What does this mean?


This is not an emergency. If it had been FWP would have immediately notified the public. Total coliform bacteria are generally not harmful themselves. Coliforms are bacteria, which are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that other, potentially harmful, bacteria may be present. Coliforms were found in more samples than health standards allow and this was a warning of potential problems.


Usually, Coliforms are a sign that there could be a problem with the treatment or distribution system (pipes). Whenever we detect coliform bacteria in any sample, FWP completes follow-up testing to see if other bacteria of greater concern, such as fecal coliform or E. coli, are present. We did not find any of these bacteria in our subsequent testing.


What is being done?


FWP is still detecting coliform bacteria but we are investigating the source of contamination. FWP will notify the public when our sampling shows that no bacteria are present. FWP anticipates resolving the problem by the end of August 2009.


For more information, please contact TRAVIS MUSCHA at (406) 234-0900 or PO Box 1630, Miles City, MT 59301