Hannibal Board of Public Works waiting on test results to determine when to lift boil order
HANNIBAL, Mo. – Hannibal went under an emergency boil order Thursday night issued by the Hannibal Board of Public Works after one of eight of the monthly routine water testing exceeded the maximum contaminant level for E. Coli.
The positive E. Coli test took the HBPW out of regulatory compliance with the Missouri Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR), and will require two consecutive negative tests before the boil order can be lifted.
Erica Mitchell, coordinator of customer and community relations, said one of those tests has been conducted and they are waiting on results. Each test takes 24 hours for results. Mitchell estimates that as long as the tests come back negative, the wait will be 48 hours from the notification last night.
Mitchell said the boil order is issued out of extreme caution for the safety of the HBPW customers, and asks everyone to take the boil order seriously. She said the boil order applies only to consumed water, and it is not necessary for anything else such as bathing.
This is a new situation for the HBPW, Mitchell said this has not happened since the company began in the early 1900s. They are currently investigating what might be the cause.
“We are trying to get to the bottom of that now. Since it’s never happened before and we are waiting on test results, it’s hard to navigate that and investigate all facets of the situation,” Mitchell said. “We perform this testing for this reason, so in that way it’s good we found it so that we could let the public know.”
Mitchell said the HBPW released the information to the public immediately after discovering they were out of compliance and also notified the Marion County Health Dept., Hannibal Regional Hospital, and local news outlets.
“We notified citizens yesterday because we really want to make sure people know we care about their health and safety. This is really just a precautionary measure but one to take seriously,” Mitchell said.
The HBPW will update the public as they receive information.
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