The “do not drink order” has been lifted in Waterville.

The Kennebec Water District says test results from samples taken Tuesday morning show no indication of the firefighting foam that was found in the water after a fire Monday.

Waterville firefighters attached their hoses to spread foam throughout the building to help put out the fire at Elm Towers Monday. There is a backflow valve to this system, but it’s not attached to the sprinklers.

“Unfortunately, there wasn’t a backflow device between the fire protection system and the water side of the system,” Kennebec Water District GM Roger Crouse said. “There should have been one.”

As firefighters doused the fire, the Kennebec Water District fielded numerous calls from people like Alice Stanton, who lives 600 feet north of Elm Towers.

“I said, ‘What the devil?'” Stanton said.

When she went to wash her dishes, white foam poured out of her faucet.

“I kept rinsing, rinsing, rinsing. It kept coming up bubbly white like I dropped a gallon of milk,” Stanton said. “When I saw that, I didn’t even want to cook potatoes.”

The Kennebec Water District says the apartment building has a backflow valve, which is tested regularly, but it’s only for the internal plumbing.

There is no backflow valve for the fire line to stop foam from getting into the water supply.

“I’m not quite sure why they didn’t have it,” Waterville Fire Chief Shawn Esler said.

“We had this gap in protection,” Crouse said.

Elm Towers was built in the early 1970s, when the water district says standards were different than they are today.

The water district says the building’s owner operated in good faith, because everyone thought that backflow device would prevent this from happening.

“We were unaware that there was not a backflow preventer. That’s something the fire department would not check for under those circumstances,” Esler said. “We didn’t directly cause this, but we certainly want to be part of the solution.”

The fire department passed out cases of water Monday night and Tuesday to make sure those who needed it had safe drinking water.

With the water now safe to drink, the Kennebec Water District is encouraging all customers to run water out of each tap for three to five minutes to flush out the lines.

If residents see any foam or smell an odor, they’re instructed to keep flushing for at least 15 minutes.