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Most recent tests positive for coliform bacteria

Dated:              July 14, 2009

Release Date:   For Immediate Release

Contact:           Patricia Beckenhaupt, Director of Health, Northeast District

Department of Health, 860-774-7350 x.19,


Robert Viens, Mayor, Town of Putnam 860-963-6800


PUTNAM – Water quality tests conducted throughout the Putnam public water distribution system by the Water Pollution Control Authority of Putnam (WPCA) on July 13, 2009 have been reported today as positive for total coliform bacteria. 


Based on these results, the Connecticut Department of Public Health continues to recommend that residents use bottled water, an alternate source of approved drinking water or bring water to a rapid boil for one minute.  These precautions apply to use of the Putnam water supply for drinking, food and beverage preparation and oral hygiene.


On July 10, 2009, routine water quality monitoring indicated the presence of total coliform and E. Coli bacteria in the Putnam water system.  Confirmatory testing reported on July 12, 2009 indicated the presence of total coliform bacteria in two water samples.  These results are in violation of state and federal drinking water standards and Section 19-13-B102(i) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, which requires public notification of the violation.


State and local health officials recommend Putnam residents continue to boil their water or use bottled water when drinking, preparing food, making coffee or ice, dishwashing, or maintaining oral hygiene. 


The Northeast District Department of Health continues to work with local food service establishments on interim measures for safely using water for food preparation based on the Connecticut Public Health Code.  A water supply serving a food facility is considered to be a public supply on federal and/or state regulations and is expected to meet drinking water standards.  When coliform or E. coli bacteria are detected through lab analysis, action must be taken to protect public health.  NDDH is working with local food facilities on interim measures to insure that food is being prepared with an approved water supply.


Officials from the Town of Putnam, Connecticut State Department of Public Health (CT DPH) and the Northeast District Department of Health (NDDH) are working together to monitor the water system.


“As we continue to take appropriate action in consultation with the CT DPH and the Town of Putnam, we will inform the residents and businesses to assure that Putnam has a safe, clean drinking water supply,” said Patricia Beckenhaupt, Director of Health.


Additional sampling results will determine future actions and will be shared as more information becomes available.


For more information:

Putnam Town Hall – 860-963-6800

NDDH – 860-774-7350 /

Department of Public Health website –