Union Township changing water testing procedures after error occurred

Union Township is changing its water testing procedures to prevent errors in sample testing.

Kim Smith, public works coordinator at Union Township’s distribution system, said she believes a recent false positive water sample is what sparked the need to change the procedures.

On Feb. 14 a sample tested positive and a letter was later sent to all those who drink water in union township. However, the sample from Well 8, which tested positive for E. coli, was actually a false positive.

As a result, Union Township is changing how they test their water, Smith said.

“We are changing our procedure to include the addition of an additive called colisure to the sample so the lab tech analyzing the sample will have a definite positive only if it turns purple,” Smith said. “This will enable the lab to distinguish between the color change more accurately.”

Previously, water was tested by sight and if a sample appeared yellow it was deemed contaminated, Smith said.

She said when Well 8 was deemed contaminated by these standards, it was shut down and no longer used in water circulation.

Five repeat samples were conducted after Well 8 was shut down and they all came back negative.

Smith said brown water and discoloration was caused by an excess of iron in the water, not E. coli as some people worried.

Union Township is now accepting proposals from qualified consulting firms for an effective State of Michigan Wellhead Protection Plan.

This plan would include the development of new wells in the area and assisting the township in fulfilling the requirements of the State of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Wellhead Protection Rules and Guidelines.

According to the document requesting proposals, “The WHP plan must have a contingency strategy to address the disruption of the water supply due to mechanical failure or contamination.”

Plans that have been approved by the state of Michigan will be considered the equivalent to those approved through a WHP contingency plan.

Proposals should be submitted to Kim Smith, 2010 S. Lincoln Road by April 16.


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