RICHMOND — A boil-water order put in place Monday for a small section of Richmond was lifted Tuesday when tests came back negative for bacteria.

The order was put in place at noon Monday after construction workers damaged a water main, according to officials.

The pipe was damaged when Watson Construction of Richmond was making a planned repair to an underground valve.

Residents on Kimball and Hatch streets, and one house on Southard Street, received a flyer Monday afternoon cautioning their water might contain coliform bacteria that is unsafe to consume.

Chuck Applebee, interim superintendent at the Richmond Utilities District, said test results that came back Tuesday afternoon deemed the water safe to drink.

Mike Abbott, manager of the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention Drinking Water Program, said it is standard procedure to test water samples when water pipes are damaged.

“The boil-water order is precautionary in the case that the water was exposed to the soil,” he said.

Residents affected by the damaged pipe were advised to boil their water for five minutes before drinking, brushing their teeth or cooking.

Applebee said water service was was lost for about seven hours Monday after the pipe was damaged. Water began flowing again to Kimball and Hatch streets Monday night.

Flyers delivered to affected residents were posted to a “Richmond Family and Friend” Facebook page. Some who visited the page mistakenly thought the boil-water order affected the entire town of Richmond, according to Applebee, who said about a dozen accounts were affected.

“We hand-delivered the flyers to everyone that was affected,” Applebee said. “Obviously, someone posted it, and I have been getting phone calls all morning.”

The flyer contained telephone numbers for residents to call with questions or to address concerns. Applebee’s cellphone number was listed, as was the number for the Maine CDC Drinking Water Program.


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