Dated:               July 17, 2009

Release Date:    For Immediate Release

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

Patricia Beckenhaupt, Director of Health, Northeast District

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


Town of Putnam Water Results Test Negative; Water Safe to Drink

State Department of Public Health Lifts Water Advisory


PUTNAM – Town of Putnam community water supply samples that were submitted to the State Department of Public Health (CT DPH) laboratory and a Connecticut certified private laboratory on July 15, 2009 have all returned negative for the presence of coliform and E. coli. As a result, the CT DPH Drinking Water Section has lifted the water advisory that has been in place since July 13, 2009 for all residents served by the Putnam community water supply system.


“The Putnam community water supply is free of coliform bacteria and is safe to consume without the need to boil, or use of bottled water,” reported Putnam Mayor Robert Viens. “This is very good news for the Town of Putnam and we extend our thanks to everyone affected - the residents of Putnam, businesses and the food service establishments in particular for their cooperation and compliance during this very difficult time.”


The lifting of the advisory also means that all food service establishments served by the community water supply system are able to resume operations following a thorough flushing of their water lines. The Northeast District Department of Health (NDDH) will be notifying food service establishments of the specific details of transitioning from the interim measures that were imposed on July 13 to resuming normal operations.


“NDDH sanitarians are today contacting food service establishments served by the community water supply to review the details of flushing, washing, rinsing, and sanitizing any and all equipment that was or is connected to water supply lines,” said NDDH Director of Health Patricia Beckenhaupt. “They are rightfully anxious to resume full operations using the water supply and we will work with them as they make that transition.”


The Town of Putnam has hired Ritsick Engineering, a professional consulting firm specializing in drinking water, environmental and regulatory matters, to assist the town in assessing their water delivery system and investigating potential causes of the recent contamination.


“Paul Ritsick, the firm’s principal, was a former supervisor in the CT DPH Drinking Water Section and consulted with the Town of Portland, Connecticut on a similar experience last year,” said Viens. “We feel that his expertise will help us to find answers to our recent situation, improve our water system, and help us to better plan for the future.”


Ongoing actions will include the increase of system sampling and monitoring.


“The mechanisms in place to monitor our water supply system worked appropriately to reveal a concern,” said Viens. “Our response was timely and effective in helping us to achieve a positive outcome.”


For more information:

Putnam Town Hall – 860-963-6800 /

NDDH – 860-774-7350 /

Department of Public Health website –