Municipality mayor: Kuressaare water ruined by sewage in clean water pipe

Tap water (photo is illustrative).
Tap water (photo is illustrative). Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Even though the expert analysis of what caused drinking water in the city of Kuressaare to become contaminated with E.coli bacteria is not ready yet, Saaremaa Municipality Mayor Mikk Tuisk said Thursday that sewage water had been mixed in with drinking water in the pipes.

Plans of pipes laid 40 years ago were inaccurate, with not enough distance between sewage and drinking water pipes. A clean water pipe was damaged in the course of work to replace sewage pipes and sucked in sewage water as a result, "Aktuaalne kaamera" news reported.

"300 cubic meters of water flowed out. The initial logic was that nothing could have gotten in after such a vast quantity of water flows out of the pipe. However, the nicked pipe caused the city's water system to lose enough pressure, and because the other end of the pipe was still pressurized, it basically created a vacuum," Tuisk told members of the council Thursday.

"It is to be believed that contaminated soil and human feces from the sewage system got sucked in to some extent," he added.

People started coming down with stomach bug symptoms in and around Kuressaare at the end of the first week of May. The Health Board confirmed an Escherichia coli contamination in the city's drinking water supply last Tuesday.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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