Wenham moved closer to lifting its boil water order on Friday but it will remain in place at least through the weekend.
All 13 water tests from Thursday came back negative for E. coli but one was positive for total coliform bacteria – will remain at least through Sunday.
That was the word late Friday from Wenham Water Superintendent Erik Mansfield, who said a state official was also in Wenham on Friday to help in identifying the source of the contamination. The exaat source of the contamination remains unknown.
The 1,100 customers on the Wenham Water Department system are being advised to boil the water for at least a minute before use.
A boil water order was put in place on Tuesday afternoon when two water tests came back positive for E. coli. The but one test came back positive for E. coli on Wednesday.
While Thursday’s tests did not show the presence of E. coli, the one positive reading for total coliform bacteria – which is the first sign that there is a possibility of E. coli in the water – is enough the keep the boil water in place.
The state Department of Environmental Protection requires two straight days of negative tests before the boil water order can be lifted.
“We will be continuing to sample on Saturday and those samples will be brought to the lab as early as possible,” Mansfield said. “If the results from (Friday’s) samples and (Saturday’s) samples are clean, MassDEP could lift the boil order as soon as soon as Sunday afternoon.”
The Wenham Water Department also . The town mechanic helped with handing out 280 cases of water to Wenham water customers at the at the Iron Rail property on Grapevine Road.
Another 150 cases remain to be handed out between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday.