SKOWHEGAN — Initial testing of the public water supply in Skowhegan has revealed no contaminants, according officials with Maine Water Co.

In a statement released Sunday night, the company said Skowhegan’s “Do Not Drink” order remained in effect but could be lifted as soon as Monday evening.

In the meantime, the Skowhegan Police and Fire departments pitched in over the weekend to help distribute bottled drinking water to the town’s 6,000 residents as the search continued for the source of a public water contamination that led the state to recommend late Thursday that no one drink the town’s tap water.

Since Friday, potable water has been available to residents at the Skowhegan Community Center on Poulin Drive.

Water was distributed from Friday through Sunday, and will be available Monday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

State officials have instructed residents not to use town water for drinking, making ice cubes, food preparation, brushing teeth or any other activity that could result in the water being consumed.

The water can be used for purposes that will not lead to consumption, such bathing, laundry and washing dishes.

The problem with the water, which includes the smell of soap, was detected late Thursday afternoon when Maine Water Co.’s Skowhegan Division notified the Maine CDC Drinking Water Program of a complaint from a customer, who described an unusual taste and odor coming from the faucet.

Maine Water Co. is working with the state CDC’s Drinking Water Program and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to investigate the cause of the sheen on the surface of the town’s supply ponds.

Members of the Skowhegan Police and Fire departments help distribute free Poland Spring bottled water to residents Saturday at the Skowhegan Community Center. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Maine Water Co.’s initial readings indicated no regulated drinking water contaminants in Upper Pond and Lower Pond, the primary water sources for Skowhegan’s system when the situation was reported, according to Maine Water Co.

On Friday, Maine Water Co. switched the water source from the ponds to the Kennebec River.

“With the switch in the supply source and the flushing completed, we expect another good lab report by the close of business on Monday,” said Rick Knowlton, president of Maine Water Co. “That would allow for the removal of the ‘do not drink’ order.”

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