Natural spring-fed well in Carmel park remains closed; traces of bacteria still present

Well tested positive for coliform Tuesday

CARMEL, Ind. - A natural spring-fed well in Carmel will continue to be off-limits to thirsty park-goers this week after potentially harmful bacteria appeared to stick around, Parks and Rec officials said Wednesday.

The well, located at the front of Flowing Well Park on 116th just east of Gray Road, has been closed to the public since Monday. The Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation Department said Tuesday tests had come back the day before showing traces of E. coli and coliform, bacteria that could make those who drink it sick.

Residents usually head to the 18-acre park in the northern suburb to walk along nature trails or fill jugs up with drinking water from the artesian flowing well.

City of Carmel Utilities has been testing the water daily since finding the first traces of bacteria. Parks and Rec officials said Wednesday the most recent test samples (taken Tuesday) have again tested positive for coliform. No E. coli has been found for a couple of days now.

The department said it is following state guidelines to a T, testing and monitoring the well’s water regularly. Seals and existing plumbing were also checked to make sure they were not behind the contamination.

Update at 5 p.m. Wednesday: Officials said they discovered an apparent break in the distribution pipe between the wellhead and the taps used by the public. Carmel Utilities is set to collect water samples Thursday and Friday. If those are found to be absent of coliform, officials said it will validate that the source water is safe and allow them to remedy the contamination by replacing the pipe.

“We are working diligently with Carmel Utilities and water experts who are well-versed in finding both the sources and solutions for such contamination issues,” the department said Wednesday.

Parks and Recreation officials said if anyone has obtained any Flowing Well water or has any left over, that water should be disposed of – do not drink it. They also ask the public’s cooperation in not attempting to jump over the temporary fencing surrounding the well.

RTV6 and TheINDYchannel.com will keep you up-to-date on when you can drink the well water again.

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