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Tests: No Water Tampering in N.D.

October 1, 2001

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) _ The state Health Department has not found any evidence that a small town’s water supply was intentionally contaminated, a department official said Sunday.

Pembina’s water system was shut down Thursday after officials said someone had tampered with the lid on a water tank. The town of about 640 people, about 5 miles from the Canadian border, was using a smaller tank for water.

Francis Schwindt, the department’s environmental chief, said some bacteria was detected but that the equipment used to collect water samples was ``kind of makeshift″ and could have contributed to the contamination.

``We think it’s more related to the actual sampling rather than to the quality of the water,″ he said.

Schwindt said the department planned to inspect the inside of the tank on Monday. He also said the department will ask the city to clean and disinfect the tank, which could be back in operation later this week.

On Saturday, the town finished flushing out its water mains as a precaution, and residents flushed their household pipes and appliances before using the public water supply.

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