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E. coli found in tap water

More than 5,000 customers in southwest King County were urged to boil their water after a tap tested positive for E. coli bacteria.

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Local News
09/25/13

Water safe again in Des Moines, Normandy Park

waterOLYMPIA — Tap water in Des Moines and Normandy Park tested safe Wednesday after several days of an E. coli bacteria scare and residents in King County Water District 54 no longer have to boil their tap water, the Washington Department of Health announced.

Lab tests show the water now meets safe drinking water standards, the department said.

The boil-order advisory affected about 5,000 people in parts of Des Moines and Normandy Park.

The water district issued a boil-water advisory on Saturday after potentially harmful E. coli bacteria were detected in a routine water quality monitoring test. No illnesses linked to the water system have been reported.

Public Health – Seattle & King County closed 39 food service establishments after the advisory was issued. The agency’s food safety staff has advised all food establishments in the affected area to follow safe food-handling procedures before reopening.

State and local health departments worked with Water District 54 staff throughout the weekend. State health officials inspected the system on Monday with water district staff; however, there was no obvious source of E. coli bacteria. District staff disinfected the system and flushed the water lines before collecting the water quality samples.

The state Department of Health based its decision to end the boil-water advisory on results of its inspection, the ongoing water disinfection treatment, and Wednesday’s water quality sample results.

“We appreciate the patience shown by our customers as we worked through this situation,” said Eric Clarke, manager of Water District 54. “We understand the boil water advisory was inconvenient, but we didn’t want to take a chance on even one person getting sick.”

Customers with questions about their water quality can call the water district at 206-878-7210.

DES MOINES, Wash. — Monday was day two under a boil-water order for some 5,000 utility customers in southwest King County.

Last week, E. coli bacterium was discovered in a test of the water supply.

water bottlesMost E. coli strains are harmless, but some can cause serious food poisoning in humans.

They’re still not certain where the E. coli came from, or even if it’s just a contaminated test sample or a dirty spigot.  But until they know for sure, they’re not taking any chances.

Meanwhile, the water district is piling up on bottled water and giving it away to customers. Some customers worry about getting sick.

Resident Ginny Kettunen learned about the boil-water advisory this weekend – and now worries about getting sick.

“When you get my age, you do worry about a few things,” said Kettunen. “I had a friend who had E. coli and she’s very, very concerned about it.”

The water district discovered the issue during routine testing – first they found coliform bacteria, and then E. coli in two separate tests. That’s what has the state Department of Health investigating.

The boil-water order is in effect for about a 1 square mile area – mostly in downtown Des Moines and parts of bordering Normandy Park.

The advisory shut down businesses like Wally’s Chowder House, and most of their employees aren’t earning any wages or tips.

“It’s just lost profit,” said manager Matt Wagner.  “A lot of people depend on this place to support their families and what-not to make a living.”

While local pipes are flushed with chlorine, Des Moines Elementary School stayed open Monday thanks to bottled water. Cold lunches were shipped in from nearby Mt. Rainier High School.

“We’re instructing them to wash their hands with soap and warm water and then to use hand sanitizer after that,” said spokesperson Tova Tupper. “That’s been a part of the Health Department instruction to us to put in these safety measures.”

The state says they’re testing new samples and those results could be ready Tuesday. But depending on what happens, the boil-water advisory could last into the middle of this week.

King County Water District #54 said bottled water continues to be available at the district’s offices at 922 S. 219th St., Des Moines.

The district serves customers in the core of Des Moines and the far south section of Normandy Park in an area from Puget Sound east to 13th Avenue South and Kent-Des Moines Road north to South 212th Street.

Customers and businesses can call the district’s offices at 206-878-7210 for additional information or check the city of Des Moines Web site at www.desmoineswa.gov for information regarding the situation.

 

 

 

boilwaterSEATTLE — Stacks of fresh bottles of water greeted faculty and students at Des Moines Elementary school Monday morning.

The bottled water was delivered to keep the school open after King County Water District 54 issued a notice to water customers to boil their tap water to eliminate exposure to E. coli bacteria.

More than 5,000 customers in southwest King County received the notice after a tap tested positive for the potentially harmful E. coli bacteria Saturday.

The boil water advisory was issued for King County Water District 54 in Des Moines and Normandy Park, extending from South 212th Street to Ken-Des Moines Road and from the sound to 14th Avenue. All food establishments within those boundaries were ordered to suspend operations until the advisory was lifted.

Officials said the advisory would remain in effect until workers flushed the system with chlorine and water samples tested negative forE. coli. Officials are also looking into the source of the contamination.

“The safety of our customers is our top priority,” King County Water District 54 superintendent Eric Clarke said. “We’re working closely with the state to resolve this problem as quickly as possible.”

Bottled water and hand sanitizer was slated to be on hand at Des Moines Elementary School. The school would remain open and a cold lunch prepared off-site would be available for students.

Officials encouraged bringing drinking water to a brisk boil for about one minute and allowing it to cool before use. Water should be boiled for drinking, brushing teeth, preparing food, making ice and washing dishes.

Customers who have questions about their water quality can call the water district at 206-878-7210. You can view a map of the water district here.

Watch Q13 Fox News at 4 and 5 p.m. for more on this story.

Local News
09/23/13

Dirty water: King Co. residents warned of E. coli

TapDES MOINES — More than 5,000 customers in southwest King County have been urged to boil their water after a tap tested positive for the potentially harmful E. coli bacteria Saturday.

The boil-water advisory was issued for King County Water District 54 in Des Moines and Normandy Park, extending southward from South 212th Street to Ken-Des Moines Road and eastward from Puget Sound to 14th Avenue. All food establishments within the boundaries were also ordered to suspend operations until the boil-water advisory was lifted.

Officials said the advisory would remain in effect until officials flushed the system with chlorine and water samples tested negative to E. coli. They are also looking into the source of the contamination.

“The safety of our customers is our top priority,” King County Water District 54 Superintendent Eric Clarke said. “We’re working closely with the state to resolve this problem as quickly as possible.”

Bottled water and hand sanitizer was slated to be on hand at Des Moines Elementary School Monday. The school would remain open, and a cold lunch prepared off-site would be available for students.

Officials encouraged bringing drinking water to a brisk boil for about one minute and allowing it to cool before use. Water should be boiled for drinking, brushing teeth, preparing food and making ice and washing dishes.

Customers who have questions about their water quality can call the water district, 206-878-7210.

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