The past week's boil water order has been a struggle for residents in Fairhaven, Mattapoisett, Marion and Rochester. As you know, these four towns are being warned about the presence of E.coli found in water samples.

We spoke to Fairhaven Superintendent of Public Works Vinnie Furtado this morning. He said that in order for the town to sample out of the boil water order, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires three consecutive negative samples.

"During the long weekend we were here chlorinating the system and collecting smaller samples," he said. "The last round of official samples we collected was on Friday because the lab was opened Saturday, but was closed Sunday and Monday (for the holiday)."

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We wondered if all four towns could be cleared by now if it weren't for the holiday weekend. Furtado says no. "We would still be sampling today because the samples we collected Friday that we received the results for on Saturday were still bad," he said.

Michael Rock/Townsquare Media
Michael Rock/Townsquare Media

The reason? The injection of the chlorine is coming from Mattapoisett, and it hasn't yet reached all of the towns. Furtado said when the samples were collected on Friday, Mattapoisett was E.coli free because it is at the epicenter, but the chlorine hadn't reached Marion and Fairhaven yet to clean the water. It is very important to note that even though Mattapoisett had a negative test on Friday, the town continues to be under a boil water order.

"We'll be collecting samples for three days in a row: today, tomorrow and Thursday. We're hoping to be all clear by Friday. That is the very earliest the ban could be lifted in Fairhaven and Marion," Furtado said.

The water department from all four towns will be having an emergency meeting today to discuss how they will move forward to try to prevent this from happening again.

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