By Ann McCreary

A routine sample of Twisp water last month showed the presence of total coliform, about two months after the town solved earlier problems by chlorinating its water reservoirs.

Public Works Superintendent Howard Moss told the Twisp Town Council last week that one of three routine water quality samples in November showed positive for total coliform. However, samples taken a few days later were clear, he said this week.

Total coliform is a collection of bacteria that are common in the environment and, though not harmful, is seen as an indicator that more harmful bacteria could be present in the water.

Twisp and Winthrop had several episodes of bad water samples in the fall, which were eventually remedied by chlorinating water tanks that store the municipal water.

Because it had one sample that showed the presence of total coliform, the town is required by the state Department of Health to take five additional samples in December. Moss said those water samples are at the laboratory and results will be available from the later this week.

The sample showing total coliform came from a faucet in Town Hall, Moss said. The source of the water is a municipal well located a short distance away on Lincoln Street.

Moss predicted that, like many municipalities, Twisp will eventually need to routinely disinfect its water.

“There will be a time when this community has continual disinfection … it may be three years or 20 years or three months from now,” Moss said.