Whale water samples test safe

New London - The water from the whale is as safe as it needs to be, Stephen Mansfield, deputy director of health for the Ledge Light Health District, said Saturday after receiving test results from samples taken Friday at the Parade plaza fountain.

"The water is not of drinking quality, but it's not intended to be drinking water," Mansfield said Saturday aftenoon. "If it were bathing water, it would be of high quality."

Mansfield said the tests revealed seven colonies of coloform, which is an indicator organism, but does not cause illness.

"Generally, for bathing quality, we look for a number less than 10. So this is a very good quality," he said. "In tests for E. coli, we found zero. There was no E. coli bacteria found in the samples."

The tests followed the Public Works Department's flushing and sanitizing of the fountain after reports of unsanitary behavior in the fountain in recent weeks.

The matter has spurred multi-media mocking of the city, officials' being quoted in big-city newspapers and calls for surveillance cameras and 24-hour police presence at the plaza.

Mansfield said the fountain was shocked with chlorine, as is customary after a fecal or vomit incident.

He said the shock was successful, and that chlorine is at an acceptable level.

No additional tests are planned, he said.


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