City in violation of drinking water standard

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Officials say water is safe to drink

Las Vegas Optic

The city of Las Vegas announced Friday that it is in violation of drinking water standards, though a top water official said the water remains safe to drink and doesn't need to be boiled.

Still, the city is advising anyone with severely compromised immune systems, infants and the elderly that they could be at increased risk.

"These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers," the city announced in a public service announcement issued Friday.

The city is required to monitor its water on a regular basis and during recent tests, three of ten samples shoed the presence of coliform bacteria. According to the city, the drinking water standard is that no more than one of its samples per month show the presence of coliform bacteria.

"This is not an emergency," city officials state in the announcement. "If it had been you would have been notified immediately. Total coliform bacteria are generally not harmful themselves. Coliform are bacteria that are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that other, potentially harmful bacteria may be present."

The city states that the presence of coliform is a sign that there could be a problem with the treatment or distribution system. When coliform is found, the city does follow-up testing to determine if other bacteria, such as fecal coliform or E. coli are present.

City officials said none of those bacteria were found in subsequent testing, though the city is still finding coliform in the drinking water.

To deal with the problem, the city is adding a higher chlorine dosage to the water and it is flushing out the system.