Testing the waters: The Sun Journal tests 3 samples and the results may surprise you

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The Sun Journal this week tested three water samples at A & L Laboratory in Auburn: a bottle of treated, filtered Poland Spring, a bottle of untreated, unfiltered Tourmaline Spring and water drawn from a popular spring on Streaked Mountain Road in Buckfield where locals fill up their water jugs from a pipe at the side of the road.

The results?

From arsenic to chloride and lead, all three waters passed state health standards with one exception: The side-of-the-road water was flagged as having a potentially high level of coliform or bacteria. There’s no state standard for it, but according to the lab, “it could be an indication of a potential problem.”

For the full results, go to sunjournal.com

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Tourmaline Bottle by sunjournal on Scribd

Poland Spring Bottle by sunjournal on Scribd

Streaked Mountain Spring by sunjournal on Scribd

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  • smallz brecko

    “Having potentially high levels of coliform bacteria?” The reading for bacteria was actually extremely low, and I’m wondering if proper sampling procedures were followed by chlorinating the tap from which the spring sample was collected from.. if not, the bacteria could have come from the tap and not the water itself. Spring water is undoubtedly better and more sustainable than bottled water. Period.

    • Darren Richards

      How many people disinfect the tap before collecting the spring water? I’m pretty sure A & L Lab. went over the proper collection procedure.

      • smallz brecko

        I don’t know, but it’s quite telling that two of the samples had no bacteria, while the spring water sample did. A pipe sitting on the side of a road is likely going to have some kind of dirt bacteria on it.
        This article is misleading and trying to stir the pot. Plain and Simple. Tourmaline Spring and Summit spring is some of the best water you can buy/collect from a tap for free..

  • disqus_ZTaReIcUNg

    “From arsenic to chloride and lead, all three waters passed state health standards with one exception: The side-of-the-road water was flagged as having a potentially high level of coliform or bacteria. There’s no state standard for it, but according to the lab, “it could be an indication of a potential problem.”
    Please consider revising this paragraph. There is absolutely a state standard for the presence of coliform bacteria and/or E. Coli. The standard is ZERO/NEGATIVE. This test should be negative, otherwise the water should not be consumed until it tests NEGATIVE. While it is true that a low bacteria count may indicate some kind of sampling error like not disinfecting the tap, failure to remove the sediment screen, or touching the inside of the container with a bare hand etc., it is not something to ignore. At a minimum, the sample should be retaken, and the sampling procedure carefully followed. If the results show any amount of bacteria, the well needs to be sanitized with bleach.
    Potential problems with a positive bacteria count include (if not sample error) surface water infiltration, an issue with leach field, sanitary seal on well cap failure, etc.

    • Earthling4

      The water supply in question is basically redirected surface water. There is virtually zero chance of such a water supply testing negative for bacteria.

  • MacNinni

    Is this the Cooper Spring on Paris Hill Rd., Buckfield, which is being written about?