HIGHLAND — A water-boiling order has been lifted in Highland after infected water was purified and passed another round of tests Friday afternoon.

During a routine water test Wednesday afternoon, Highland officials got a positive test for E. coli in the View Point subdivision in the northeast area of Highland, near the mouth of American Fork Canyon, said Matt Shipp, public works director and city engineer.

As soon as the first test came back positive for E. coli bacteria, a second test was conducted to avoid a false positive, Shipp said.

Although state rules don't require notification until after two positive tests, Shipp decided to notify residents in the neighborhood immediately. There are nearly 103 houses, but only 70 are occupied, he said.

No other area of the city was affected because the View Point subdivision is on a closed loop, Shipp said.

"I felt it important enough that we notify these homeowners that we had this," Shipp said. "We did issue a boil order as a precaution ... then started disinfecting the tank."

By 8 p.m. Wednesday night, crews had poured chlorine into the tank and water lines to clean them.

The second test came back positive Thursday, so the boil order stayed in force, and the disinfecting continued, Shipp said.

"I don't know if I would call it common," Shipp said about the bacterial infection. "(But) it's not unusual, it happens. That's the reason we have the test. It's why these processes are in place."

Shipp said the residents responded positively and patiently to the flyer alerting them to the boil order, which was delivered door to door. Word also was spread by local church groups.

After getting a negative result from a test Friday afternoon, the city crews went out again to deliver new flyers to residents advertising the bacteria had been killed and the boil order was over, but to flush all their lines before drinking their water again.

During the boil order, water could still be used for watering lawns, bathing and cooking if it was boiled, but not for things such as drinking, teeth brushing, or ice.

Shipp said they're still not sure what caused the bacteria, but he assured residents that they've run tests again in all the areas of the city and the water is clean.


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