Last month, Lake of the Woods community members were asked to boil their drinking water because potentially harmful E. coli bacteria were detected in their system’s water.
The bacteria were detected Friday, Oct. 17 in a water sample collected for routine monthly water-quality monitoring. The residential community’s water system serves 324 homes with a population of around 870 people.
The State Department of Health worked closely with the community water system operator to try to find the source of contamination and eliminate it.
According to resident Buddy Wise, on Oct. 18, the Lake of the Woods water manager posted advisory notices on home doors throughout the private community. Wise said they were advised to boil their water and told that chlorine was added to the water system to kill the bacteria.
“You can tell they added chlorine to the system because you can really smell it while you’re in the shower,” Wise said.
On Oct. 22, after three “clean tests in a row,” information was passed on to residents advising that the water was safe to drink.
“We put up reader boards at all entrances and passed out handouts,” said Larry Smalley, Lake of the Woods past president.
At press time, there has not been an E. coli source found.