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Chlorine taste after E. coli detection irks Greenlawn customers

Greenlawn Water District has posted a notice on its website responding to questions about the chlorinated taste in its prizewinning water after E. coli was detected in one of its wells.

Following the detection on July 1, the water district began chlorinating its water as a preventive move. Additional testing showed no problems in the water distribution system, but the chlorine is still being added only as a precaution, Superintendent Bob Santoriello said Wednesday.

The taste of chlorine is new to the 42,000 Greenlawn Water District residents, leading to complaints.

Greenlawn is one of the few water districts in the state with a waiver that allows them to not chlorinate water, according to Santoriello. Because it is not chlorinated, the water tends to have a better taste, which has led to the water district winning several water tasting awards, including one state award, over the past several years.

Coliform and E. coli bacteria were detected in Well 16, which has been sealed off from distribution until the source of the contamination could be found.

Suffolk County Department of Health Services said the water is safe and free of bacteria, according to the water district's website.

More information on the water chlorination can be found on the website: greenlawnwater.org.

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