Water Worries Go Down the Drain

FULTON, NY – Fulton Water Works Superintendent John Florek said he will be happily getting back to his routine today.

Wednesday afternoon, the city of Fulton received notice that its second day of water samples all came back negative for E. coli bacteria. Meeting the health department’s requirements for two consecutive testing days with clean samples, the city lifted the boil water advisory that had been in place since Saturday.

“We are all set now,” Florek said. “We are back to the normal routine.”

Florek said that his schedule has been anything but routine for approximately three weeks.

“First, we had the flushing program and then I was chasing a single colony of E. coli,” he said. “I have been pretty tied up.”

Florek noted that he resume the city’s regular water sampling process next week.

“When I do our normal sampling, I won’t be shying away from the area where we found the problem,” Florek said. “I will definitely be returning to that area.”

Florek noted that regular sampling sites in the city’s northeast quadrant include heavily trafficked buildings such as Mimi’s Drive-In restaurant and the county building.

Earlier this week, Florek explained that the city is required 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.

This week, Florek took more than 15 samples, both Monday and Tuesday at various locations around the city. With proof that the city’s water is safe to drink, he said he is ready to get back to work on things that have been set on the back burner.

“Everything is taken care of now and we can get back to our regular responsibilities,” Florek said. “End of story.”

Fulton Mayor Ron Woodward said he was thrilled to receive the results that allowed the city to lift the boil water advisory.

“These things are a part of life,“ Woodward said. “Some of our surrounding areas have had boil water advisories twice this year. But it was a frightening thing for the community and I am glad that it is behind us.”

Woodward added, “I commend Commissioner (Daniel) O’Brien, John Florek and all of the people we have over there who got out and worked hard on this problem since the first sample came back with a problem.”

Woodward explained this week that the first sample that tested positive for E. coli bacteria was taken a week ago today, prompting the second sampling Friday. When E. coli was detected in the second sample, the advisory was put in place.

“Our workers immediately came back to work, flushed the water, chlorinated the system and did what needed to be done to make sure our residents are safe,” Woodward said. “They did a great job.”