Ogden E. coli scare limited to single water sample

OGDEN—A boil order in Ogden was lifted at 7 pm Wednesday after E. coli bacteria was found in the drinking water.

Every month, the Village of Ogden submits water samples to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for testing, and every month, the results come back all clear. But on Monday, there was something in the water.

“It didn't pass,” said Ogden mayor Jack Reidner. “And therefore we had to issue a boil order.”

The sample sent to the IEPA tested positive for E. coli, which sent village leaders searching for the source. Supervisors found no signs of a problem with the village’s water system, so they focused on the single sample that was sent.

“They’re very vulnerable to cross contamination from your hands, from the faucet,” said Dave McMillan, manager of the IEPA’s division of public water supplies. “There are ways to disinfect the faucet or simply taking a sample from a different location to show that it was just a problem at that particular sampling point.”

Village officials took samples from four different locations around town, sent them back to the IEPA for further testing, and results came back all clear, proving the problem is at the collection site, and not the village’s distribution system. Agency officials say this is often the case in situations like this.

“Normally boil orders end up being more of a precautionary measure and we don't have a situation of high risk to the consumers,” said McMillan.

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