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Lisbon water system boil order lifted after two weeks

By John Koziol
Union Leader Correspondent

January 31. 2016 8:44PM

LISBON — Two weeks after imposing it, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services on Friday lifted a boil order for customers of the town’s water system.

Municipally owned but operated under contract with a private party, the water system serves residential, commercial, institutional and industrial customers, many of them located near the center of downtown Lisbon.

On Jan. 15, after a DES-required regular monthly monitoring for a number of contaminants, E. coli bacteria was detected in the Lisbon water supply and the agency immediately ordered customers to boil their water for at least two minutes prior to use.

A fact sheet from the DES explains that boiling kills organisms in the water, including E.coli, which can cause “short-term effects,” such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches or other symptoms, and poses the greatest health risks to infants, young children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems.

On Friday, the DES noted on its website that “Multiple distribution samples taken show the absence of bacteria” in the Lisbon water supply and that it was lifting the boil order based on the samples and “on corrective actions taken.”

On the Lisbon website, the town said it will “disinfect the water supply with 4-log disinfection and will continue to test samples on a daily basis during this process to ensure a safe water supply.”

Town Administrator Dan Mirhalski has said the E. coli was traced back to the Ammonoosuc River, which recently filled with ice dams and was also running high.

The pressure of the river on the surrounding water table is believed to have caused seepage of river water containing E. coli into the town well on Bishop Road.

Public Safety Environment Health Lisbon Local and County Government

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