The Rye Water District's boil water order continues, as water samples taken at two locations during the weekend came back positive for coliform.

Samples taken on Saturday came back clean of e.Coli contamination but positive for coliform on West Road and Washington Road, according to an update from the district. A second round of tests were done on Sunday, but the results were not yet available as of late Monday morning.

The boil water order can be lifted after two consecutive tests, taken 24 hours apart, come back clean of the bacteria.

"Total coliform are considered indicator bacteria, as this group of organisms is abundant in the environment, although on their own do not imply an imminent health risk. If total coliform bacteria are present in well water, it is an indication (not certainty) that a pathway exists for disease organisms to be present in the water," according to the state Department of Environmental Services.

Cleaning of Tanks

Underwater Solutions is inspecting and cleaning the interior of all the district's water tanks. Portsmouth Water is assisting with de-chlorination of the tank. Their teams are visually inspecting the tank and removing sediment from the bottom of the tank. The work will continue throughout the week, keeping it offline regardless of the sample results, according to the district.

E.coli bacteria was initially founded in samples taken at the Breakfast Hill tank and two other locations, 1257 Washington Road and 235 Parsons Road, on Wednesday. A boil water order was put into effect immediately.

Pre-boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, brushing teeth, washing vegetables, food preparation, washing dishes, making infant formula, washing small children, and making ice until further notice. Water should be brought to a boil for at least one minute.

Customers of Portsmouth Water and Aquarion Water in Rye are not affected by the order.

The district clarified that the only samples to test positive for total coliform and/or e-coli were collected from the distribution system. The tanks all tested negative, and the source of the bacteria has not been identified.

The wells and their associated protective radius of 400 feet have been inspected and no deficiencies were identified, according to the district.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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