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Water issue is cleared up

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HARTINGTON — State and city officals announced Wednesday that issues with the city water system are now cleared up.

The latest test results from the state reveal that city's water system no longer shows signs of E Coli

Local citizens had been advised to either used botled water or boil all water before consuming it.

That is no longer necessary, however.


City officials learned the water system had failed an October test for water quality. The water was then retested last week with the same result. Local residents were advised on Nov. 8 that they should begin boiling their water before consuming it.

An additional test was taken on Friday, and results from Lincoln passed. Another set of tests took place on Tuesday, with those results indicating the problem had been corrected.

City workers had been putting bleach in the system in an attempt to kill the bacteria.

City Clerk Natalie Schaecher said businesses and residents should now change any water filters and that water fountains should be flushed out.

Requirements for Assessments state two tests are conducted “in order to identify the possible presence of sanitary defects and defects in the distribution system coliform monitoring practices,” according to the letter sent to the city.

With last week’s  news, people around town quickly went to buy packs of bottled water to use until the notice is over. 

Tessa Miller, assistant manager at Dollar General, said they sold out pretty quickly on Thursday night and had to reach out to the Laurel store to get extra water on short notice. DG also had water deliveries on Friday and on Monday to stay stocked during this influx of bottled water sales.

Burnell’s Foodtown has also seen an increase in bottled water sales. Store owner Burnell Herbolsheimer said fortunately the normal scheduled delivery was on Saturday so an emergency order was not necessary. 

The water notice also affected businesses with fountain drink machines and coffee machines.

At Casey’s General Store, the boil water notice is posted at the front door, on the fountain drink station, at the coffee station, and at the hot food area. There are no fountain drinks or coffee available, however Mary Anne Arens did say she has seen an increase in bottled drink sales.



E. Coli is a bacteria “whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes,” said the boil water notice that was distributed. 

In both pets and humans this can cause short term symptoms in the digestive track, shown through nausea, diarrhea, and cramps, among other things. These issues can also increase to more serious, health threatening issues.

Avera Sacred Heart Clinic’s Dr. Connie Micek said the biggest concern is for the very young children. She said young children may not have a strong immune system to fight the bacteria.