Second round of testing confirms water safety

Short Title
Second round of testing confirms water safety
July 17, 2002

The San Diego County Water Authority has completed a second round of lab tests on samples of its treated water supply and found no presence of coliform bacteria. Samples from the Authority’s water supplier, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, also continue to test negative, as do samples from member agencies of the Authority that deliver water directly to the public.

"Today’s test results confirm the water supplied by the Authority to the San Diego region continues to be safe," said Chris Guild, the Authority's deputy general manager. "The Authority will now continue to investigate the probability that an error may have occurred in the initial sampling or analytical process." 
The immediate repeat sampling and testing undertaken by the Authority is a required step to confirm results when initial positive results occur. The standard procedure is to wait for the results of the repeat sampling, which takes 24 hours, before any further steps are taken. The Authority took the extra precautionary measure of providing notification to its member agencies before receiving the repeat sampling results.

Test results Tuesday from treated water samples the Authority collected Monday indicated the presence in those samples of coliform bacteria; however, tests indicated it was not the fecal-related E. coli. species of coliform. Since receiving the initial test results the Authority remained in close communication with its member agencies, other water quality experts and the Department of Health Services on this matter.

"Throughout the two-day period, the water was safe." Guild said. "All tests by our supplier and by our member agencies that supply water directly to homes and businesses showed the water to be fine and there were no increased reports of illnesses."

The San Diego County Water Authority is a public agency serving the San Diego region as a wholesale supplier of water from Northern California and the Colorado River. The Water Authority works through its 23 member agencies to provide a safe, reliable water supply to almost 3 million county residents.

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