Public Notice of Coliform Bacteria

The City of Pawnee Rock has mailed a copy of the “Public Notice of Coliform Bacteria in Drinking Water” notice earlier this week to all residents. To ensure everyone has access to this notice, the City is also making a copy available here.

Residents may download the document by clicking on the PDF icon below. The full text is also available below the PDF icon for anyone who wants to read the notice without downloading it.



City of Pawnee Rock public water supply violated a drinking water microbiological standard for total coliforms in its distribution system in September 2014. Although this is not an emergency, you as customers have a right to know what happened and what is begin done to correct the situation.


What happened? We routinely monitor for the presence of total coliform bacteria in our drinking water two times a month. We sampled our water system five times in September 2014 for coliform bacteria. Two routine samples showed the presence of total coliform. The standard is that no more than one sample per month may contain coliform.  Any related repeat sample collected in a following month is included in determining compliance with the standard.


Who may be at risk and what you should do? You do not need to boil your water or take other corrective actions. However, if you have specific health concerns, consult your doctor. People with severely compromised immune systems, infants, and some elderly may be at increased risk. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1 (800) 426-4791.


This is not an emergency. Total coliform bacteria are generally not harmful themselves. Coliforms are bacteria which are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that other, potentially harmful, bacteria may be present. Coliforms were found in more samples than allowed and this was a warning of potential problems.


No E. coli or fecal coliform bacteria have been found in the routine and repeat samples tested this far.


Bacterial contamination can occur when increased run-off enters the drinking water source (for example, following heavy rains).  It can also happen due to a break in the distribution system (pipes) or a failure in the water treatment process.


What we are doing: Whenever we detect coliform bacteria in any sample, we do follow-up testing to see if other bacteria of greater concern, such as fecal coliform or E. coli, are present. We are retesting each positive original site and two sites near each location and may increase the number of routine samples for least the next month.


Some corrective actions we have taken or are considering may include more follow up sampling, checking chlorine residuals on the distribution system, flushing lines if needed, making any needed repairs to the system, and continuing investigation until we find the source of contamination. We anticipate resolving the problem within 14 days.


For information regarding this notice, please contact:

Linda McCowan

508 Centre Pawnee Rock, KS 67567

City Hall: 620-982-4386


Shane Bowman

Maintenance/Water: 620-982-7069


Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly. You can do this by this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail. Este informe contiene informacion importante acerca de su agua potable. Haga que alguien lo traduzca para usted, o hable con alguien que lo entienda.


This notce is being sent by City of Pawnee Rock. PWS ID KS2000916.  Date Distributed 10/8/2014