National Rural Water Association

2915 S. 13th Street

Duncan, OK 73533

580-252-0629   FAX 580-255-4476

Contact:  Chris Wilson, nrwacw@nrwa.org

December 17, 2008  
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Drinking water restored in Maine town

 

PITTSFIELD, Maine – The phone rings at 11 p.m. – the Town of Pittsfield, Maine has at least two major water main leaks and cannot fill its reservoir. The leaks forced the town to issue a boil order, but technical assistance from rural water technicians helped restore water service two days later.
                “It's all in a day's work,” said Ron Bovine, a circuit rider for the Maine Rural Water Association. “That's what we are here for."
                Scott Noble, Pittsfield Assistant Superintendant of Pittsfield Sewer and Water, called Bovine at 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 3. The main break caused the water system to loose pressure, threatening to contaminate the supply. Bovine, who acts as roving technical assistance for water systems, was in northern Maine. He told Noble how to implement a boil water order.
                Bovine arrived in Pittsfield the next morning. Noble had located and repaired two breaks in the town’s 10-inch mains, but still could not fill the reservoir. Pressure from the early leaks caused more breaks in the town’s 60-year-old pipe. Bovine started leak detection and located another major break in the main.
                Contractors began work on repairing the water mains while Bovine assisted the system operators with chlorine and testing. The circuit rider had helped the operator adjust the chlorination levels for maximum safety against contamination.
                Once the pipes were repaired, the system had to be tested to ensure water quality. Bovine collected samples from four areas of Pittsfield, and took them to the lab for testing. The tests were negative for Total Coliform, a bacterial test that is the standard for determining contamination in drinking water. The tests were complete by noon Friday, allowing Pittsfield to lift its boil water order.
                “We are very pleased the results came back negative,” said Town Manager Kathryn Ruth.
                The quick response of Pittsfield and the MRWA won praise from state health agencies.
                “They did a great job of handling this one, getting the word out to customers that they weren’t sure about the safety of the water any longer,” said Roger Crouse, Director of Drinking Water Programs for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.
                “MRWA works hand in hand with the primacy agency and the water system to make sure that the public has safe drinking water,” said Steve Levy, Executive Director of MRWA. “We take that mission seriously.”     

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