E. Coli Found in Shingletown Wells

SHINGLETOWN, Calif. - Some residents in Shingletown were alarmed recently after they found out the source of their drinking water tested positive for E. Coli.

An anonymous letter was sent in to KRCR News Channel Seven that said the water in Shingletown had been contaminated with E. Coli. The letter also included an attached notification sent by the Lassen Pines Mutual Water Company telling Shingletown residents to boil their water before using it.

The tipster said they were concerned because they said they were not notified within the period of time required by the state of California.

We contacted The Lassen Pines Mutual Water Company to ask them about the notification. They did not answer any questions but instead directed us to Mark Cramer, the Senior Environmental Health Specialist for Shasta County.

He said, "The positive samples were not the water they were drinking. It wasn't showing up in the distribution system. These were raw water samples. That's where the bacteria was."

Cramer said there were samples collected from three wells in Shingletown on November 20th. Two of the three tested positive for E. Coli.

He said the water used in resident homes comes from the well but is then treated with chlorine at a treatment center before going to a distribution center.

When samples were taken from the distribution center, Cramer said there was no sign of the dangerous bacteria.

After the two wells tested positive, Cramer said confirmation samples were taken on December 5th. Those also tested positive.

Cramer said the Lassen Pines Mutual Water Company should have notified users within 48 hours, but some people didn't get their notice until December 13th.

"I think they did miss it. That's fair to say they didn't do the notification as quickly as they should have," Cramer said.

The two contaminated wells are not being used at this time.

Cramer said the State granted the water company emergency funds for a chlorine pump and tool for analyzing the water. He said they will use that money to fix the issue by adding new pipes and tanks or by drilling new wells.

The water boiling notice was lifted last week.

Cramer said he wanted to stress that the water that was actually inside homes was tested 12 times and that E. Coli was never found in those samples.

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