What if Fecal Coliform is detected in a routine sample?

If Fecal Coliform is detected in a routine sample the water system must notify the Rhode Island Department of Health within 24 hours of learning of the positive sample. 

Repeat samples must be collected. If either Total Coliform or Fecal Coliform is detected in any repeat sample, the water system is in violation of the Total Coliform Rule. This type of violation is considered an acute violation and results in the issuance of a boil water advisory. 

Under our current approved sampling schedule, routine samples are collected on Tuesdays. We receive the presumptive results from the laboratory at the end of the day on Wednesdays. Repeat samples are collected on Thursdays, and the confirmation of the results of the repeat sample analysis are not available until Saturday or Sunday of the same week. 

Sometimes presumptive positive results do not confirm, which is why boil water advisories are not issued on presumptive results.

Show All Answers

1. Total Coliform and Fecal Coliform: what’s the difference?
2. Where are the water supply samples taken from?
3. How are water supply quality samples analyzed?
4. What happens if a sample tests positive for Total or Fecal Coliform?
5. What amount of Total Coliform indicates a water system violation?
6. What if Fecal Coliform is detected in a routine sample?