WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 26, 2010, 08:50 AM

Small ND town waiting for drinking water test results

Sandoun, ND (WDAY TV) - A community waits to learn if its water is contaminated. A few people in the small North Dakota town of Sandoun, 20 miles southeast of Lisbon, say they found E. coli in their drinking water. Today it was the health department running tests.

With two bottles and sample of well water, Hunter Hubrig will bring answers to 33 homeowners wondering if their water is safe.

Hunter: “There is a holding time on each sample. We will get them to the lab as fast as we can.”

One tests for E. coli, the other for a check for high levels of nitrates. Both are bad to drink. Bacteria that is growing in standing water is nothing new. But now, there is so much water that there isn't enough to sand for it to filter through and clean itself naturally.

Hakanson says his town's economy relies on farming and livestock, but because of years of wet weather, water is stealing space from crops. This Pasteur, now a swamp is good for cattails not cattle.

Bruce Hakanson: “It is a major financial hit and health risk.”

The town is eager to get the samples to the lab and then hopefully get some answers. Lab results should be available Wednesday. If scientists discover E. coli, Hakanson hopes it may encourage the state to help pay for adding drains in the town.