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Fri, Dec. 06

Water samples tests negative for coliform counts, So-Hi board member says<BR>

Recent water samples taken by the So-Hi Water Improvement District tested negative to the presence of coliform, a So-Hi board member said.

So-Hi obtained the laboratory results from the July samples, and they came back negative on Thursday, board member Mary Clark said.

That means So-Hi is complying with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

Kurt Maurer, communications director for ADEQ, confirmed that the samples came back clean.

The presence of total coliform counts in the water supply is an indicator on whether harmful bacteria is present, and triggers additional testing, ADEQ officials have said.

So-Hi tested positive to coliform based on samples taken on June 13 and June 15, but the tests came back negative for harmful E.

coli bacteria.

The coliform presence was caused by vandals who took off the hatch of a 250,000-gallon water tank on June 14 and swam in the tank, Clark said.

The vandals also beer containers on the tank.

The vandalism may have caused the coliform counts, Maurer said.

However, he noted the vandalism reportedly took place a day after the first sample was taken.

In response to the vandalism, So-Hi put razor wire under and above a fence that surrounds the tank on Ranch Road, Clark said.

"We also put padlocks on the top hatch and the ladder cage that goes up the side of the tank," Clark said.

So-Hi also put chlorine into the tank to kill bacteria, and is buying a new chlorinator for $700, Clark said.

So-Hi also flushed the lines.

So-Hi will continue to take at least one water sample a month to test for total coliform counts, Clark said.

The So-Hi district is a water cooperative with more than 200 members who live at So-Hi Estates, she said.

So-Hi customers use a combined total of 2 million gallons of water per month.

Clark and other representatives for So-Hi could not be reached for comment for a story on the testing that appeared on Thursday.

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