Boil water order in Ephrata continues - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Boil water order in Ephrata continues

EPHRATA, Wash. -

EPHRATA, Wash. - The state Department of Health and the City of Ephrata are continuing to advise residents to boil their tap water or buy bottled water until further notice. Potentially harmful bacteria were detected in the water during routine testing last week.

As of Monday morning, 12 April 2010, disinfection of the City's water system continues. Chlorine has been removed from all mainlines in the water system. Residents may wish to run faucets for a minute to purge any remaining chlorine from their home's plumbing.

The City has sent 16 samples to the lab for testing. Our water system cannot be recertified until all 16 samples test perfect. The results of these tests may not be known for several days. The State and the City will work together to determine when the Health Advisory may be lifted.

Waterline and street project construction does not appear to be a cause of this incident in any way. However, City Well #6 was removed from service last Friday as a possible source of the contamination. Once our entire system is safe, we will investigate all possible causes. A report will be produced and made public following that investigation.

Last week, E.coli bacteria were found in one of eight water samples. Continued testing showed the presence of other non-acute (no E.Coli) coliform bacteria in the water system. The City and the State acted as a precautionary measure, to issue a Health Advisory at 12:15p.m. Friday 09 April 2010. The Advisory is still in effect.

The Advisory affects roughly 7,100 people, including more than 3,200 homes and businesses in our community.

The Advisory is in effect for the entire community of Ephrata.

This Health Advisory includes several precautionary steps customers should take. These include using boiled water or bottled water for drinking, brushing teeth, preparing food, dishwashing, and making ice. Tap water should be boiled for one minute and allowed to cool before use.

The Department of Health's Office of Drinking Water is working closely with the City to find the source of contamination, disinfect the system, and prevent a repeat occurrence. Our priorities today are disinfecting the water system, and then doing more tests to ensure our water is safe.

The advisory will remain in effect until the City and the Department of Health are both satisfied there is no longer a health threat to the system's customers.

The City will announce the lifting of the boil order through all local media, the City's website, and the County Telephone Notification System. Until the City issues that notification, please continue to follow these guidelines.

Residents who have questions should call the City at 754-4601 during regular business hours.

 

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