Caribou water is safe to drink again

9 months ago

CARIBOU, Maine — After bottled water flew off store shelves Thursday, an order urging Caribou residents not to drink city water has been lifted.

On Thursday, Caribou Utilities District learned that water samples collected at five locations had tested positive for E. coli. Follow-up tests came back negative Friday afternoon, said Caribou Utilities District General Manager Hugh Kirkpatrick.

The initial results turned out to be an error in the test sample, Kirkpatrick said. That means the boilers were never contaminated with E. coli. 

Kirkpatrick said he posted the initial results on the Maine Drinking Water Program website out of caution. The news led to Caribou grocery stores selling out of bottled and distilled water, and at least one business closing for the day. 

Utility district customers were told to boil unbottled water for at least one minute before drinking or using in any other way where it could be consumed.

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated where the samples were collected.