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Water test negative: Follow up testing finds no bacterial trace in water

Subsequent testing of water samples from Casey’s General Store at 1003 13th St. NE, found no trace of coliform bacteria, according to Steve Suko, utility operations director for Jamestown.

Two samples in June from the location had tested positive for the bacteria by the North Dakota Department of Health. Coliform is considered harmless although it can be an indication of other potentially harmful bacteria in the water system.

Suko said nine additional samples were taken after the two positive tests. Four were taken within the store and five from surrounding businesses. All were negative.

“It is looking like possibly a sampling technique,” he said. “That is just speculation.”

No one was available for comment at Casey’s General Store.

Any possible contamination of the sample container can lead to a positive test for bacteria for the water sample, Suko said.

The two positive tests prompted the Jamestown Water Department to send letters and run public notice advertisements alerting the public of the problem. The notifications did not advise people to boil their water, but said people with compromised immune systems should consult with a physician concerning the risk.

Suko described the situation as “not an emergency” but “requiring an investigation” at the time.

Results of the testing of the subsequent samples were returned to the city Thursday.

Water from the location will continue to be tested twice a month as part of routine water safety monitoring.

“We don’t expect to do any additional sampling,” Suko said. “But the testing will include the same site right down to the same sink.”

Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at