Two of three Baltimore sites that originally had E. coli contamination in water now test negative, officials say – Baltimore Sun

Two days after the city first announced that E. coli had been found in water samples taken in West Baltimore, two of the three sites where the bacteria was first discovered are now showing negative results, officials announced Wednesday.

The Department of Public Works first discovered the bacteria in water samples taken in Sandtown-Winchester and Harlem Park over Labor Day weekend. On Monday, Public Works told residents in much of West Baltimore and Southwest Baltimore County to boil their water.

The city is still working to determine the source of the E. coli found and the boil water advisory remains in effect, Mayor Brandon Scott and city officials said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

Of the 25 new samples the city collected between Monday night and Tuesday morning, one sample tested positive for E. coli, Public Works Department Director Jason Mitchell said.

The positive result came from a police station at 1034 N. Mount St., one of three sites that first showed E. coli over the weekend. The other two sites, a fire station at 1503 W. Lafayette Ave. and another location at 920 N. Carey St., showed negative results when retested.

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Additional test results are expected Wednesday afternoon, Mitchell said. “As of today, we have tested all 90 locations and hope to have all 90 locations tested by the end of tomorrow, both in the affected area and outside the affected area,” he said.

In addition to sampling, Department of Public Works personnel also work to identify the cause of contamination by identifying construction projects, testing for leaks, performing valve assessments, and verifying site assessments. chlorine in the area.

After a reporter inquired about a pump station taken out of service for repairs on August 26, Mitchell said it was one of several possible causes authorities are investigating. The station, which was taken offline for a valve replacement that Mitchell called “critical,” is now back online.

No illness resulting from the contamination has been confirmed. Health Commissioner Dr Letitia Dzirasa said on Wednesday that the health department was investigating two reported cases of gastrointestinal illness in the affected area to determine if people had been infected with E. coli.

“The health and well-being of our residents remains our top priority and we will continue to work diligently to determine the source of the contamination,” Scott said.

This story will be updated.