FULTON, NY – Saturday afternoon, Fulton Water Works Superintendent John Florek received the results of a water sample heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢d taken Friday at a small car dealership in the northeast quadrant of the city.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œFor the first time I can ever remember, we had a sample come back showing one E. coli colony of bacteria,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Florek said.
With that finding, Florek said he had conversations with the Oswego County Health Department, which prompted the issuance of a boil water advisory for the entire city.
Monday, Florek spent the day traveling around the city taking water samples from various places, including some of the cityÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s more populated buildings such as Towpath Towers, A.L. Lee Memorial Hospital, Fulton Mills Apartments and each of the six school buildings in the Fulton City School District. He says he also retested the water at the car dealership.
The samples were sent to the laboratory that the city has used for decades, Metropolitan Water Board in Onondaga County.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI expect to get those results back by noon today or shortly after,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Florek said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe purpose is to test the water to see if it is safe to drink. If this was something more widespread than isolated, weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢d want to know right away.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Florek noted that the city is required by state law to collect 15 water samples each month, based on the population of people using city water. He said he typically spreads that number out over the month; taking about four samples each week in various points of the city.
Florek noted that there is a strong possibility that the sample that showed E. coli bacteria was an isolated incident. He noted that the sample was taken from an abandoned hot water heater at the dealership that has not been used for drinking water.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI suspect that it may be isolated,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â he said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe owner doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t use the hot water tank but the water valves were open so I could draw water from it.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Florek pointed out that the water sample heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢d taken the same day at Lee Memorial was free of bacteria.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIf these tests come back showing that it is just that tank, it would be really good news because no one drank water from it,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â he said.
Florek is also collecting samples today. For the advisory to be lifted, the city is required to show two consecutive days of clean water samples.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe are just waiting for the results to see what they show,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Florek said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIf our samples show that they are free of bacteria today and tomorrow, the advisory can be lifted.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â