Links to Useful Water Information
- Private Water System Rules
- Lead and Drinking Water
- Water Quality Interpretation Tool
- Ohio Department of Health Forms
- List of Private Water System Contractors
What is Coliform Bacteria?
It is extremely important to have your water tested annually for bacteria.
Coliform bacteria originate as organism in soil or vegetation, some are also found in the intestinal tract of warm-blooded animals (fecal coliform). This group of bacteria has been the preferred indicator for the contamination of water and possible presence of intestinal parasites and pathogens. Some types of bacterial pollution include contamination from animal/wildfowl, runoff from woodlands, pastures, feedlots and other wastewater. The backflow or cross connection of “dirty” water with “clean” water is the most common manner in which a water system is contaminated. Always avoid any situation where siphoning into your water system may occur.
To maintain a sanitary water supply, it is also important to keep the entire plumbing system clean and leak free. Each time work is done on any plumbing or the pump, the entire water system should be disinfected with chlorine. Simply pulling the pump out of the well and setting it on the grass is enough to contaminate the well with bacteria. Most coliform bacteria are harmless residents of the soil and will not make people sick. If you find that you have unsafe levels of coliform bacteria in your water, you should obtain an alternative source of drinking water until the well has been properly chlorinated and a safe sample has been taken. Instructions on how to properly chlorinate are linked above. However, some strains of E. coli, the most common fecal coliform bacterium, may cause illness. The presents of E. coli in drinking water should be taken seriously. If you have E. coli in your water, do not use the water for any consumption purposes. An inspection should be done of your water system by a sanitarian at the Health Department to determine if there are visible indicators of surface contamination. Contact us at (330) 424-0272.
Private Water Monitoring System
The Columbiana County Health Department is a regulatory authority over private drinking water systems in Columbiana County. Water systems include drilled wells, springs, ponds and holding tanks. Our current regulations only regulate bacteria and nitrates in private drinking water supplies. The Columbiana County Health Department would like to take a more active approach in determining if there is a potential health risks associated with construction activities in Columbiana County such as mining, oil and gas wells, and solid and construction waste landfills. These more technical surveillance activities should give the general public more confidence that these sites are not presenting an imminent danger to their health.
Residents interested in testing their water for any of the parameters developed within our private water monitoring program may contact an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified laboratory. The three laboratories this department has used in the past include:
- Alloway Marion Laboratory, 740-389-5991
- Leetonia WTP Laboratory, 330-427-8087
- Mahoning County Board of Health, 330-270-2855
A full list of certified laboratories can be found on the Ohio EPA website .