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Fair Lawn Water Has Elevated Coliform Levels, Officials Report

Fair Lawn resident Anna Verrone samples the water.
Fair Lawn resident Anna Verrone samples the water. Photo Credit: Jerry DeMarco

FAIR LAWN, NJ -- Routine tests in September revealed levels of coliform bacteria in drinking water that, while not considered harmful, required Fair Lawn authorities to notify residents.

"This is not an emergency," the borough Water Department said in its notice.

Residents and business owners "do not need to use an alternative water supply," the notice says.

"People with severely compromised immune systems, infants and some elderly may be at increased risk" and "should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers," it says.

General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from the EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 1-800-426-4791.

"I buy bottled water, just to be on the safe side," Fair Lawn resident Anna Verrone told Daily Voice. "I don't like the way the local water tastes, anyway.'

Thirteen percent of 61 samples showed the presence of the bateria, the borough Water Department said in its notification.

"Whenever we detect coliform bacteria in any sample, we do follow-up testing to see if other bacteria of greater concern, such as fecal coliform of E. Coli are present," the notice says. "We did not find any of these bacteria in our subsequent testing."

Authorities said they would continue "routine monthly coliform bacteria testing" and will alert residents and business owners if the levels increase again.

They said they also "increased our outgoing distribution system flushing in the affected area to remove contaimnated water from the distribution system piping.

"We continue flushing the distribution system piping as a normal proactive measure" and "have increased the chlorine disinfection residuals above routine levels as an additional precaution," the Water Department notice says.

"We are in the process of conducting an assessment of the water system to help us minimize the likelihood of this happening again," it says.

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