A possible e.Coli outbreak in Water District 54's means residents should boil water before use.
Boil Water Advisory Still in Effect
More than 5000 residents and businesses were affected Saturday by a possible e.Coli outbreak in Water District 54's system. Inspectors found evidence of e.Coli from a tap during a routine inspection and immediately informed customers of the need to boil drinking water. Water District 54 serves residents and businesses from S. 212th just outside down town Des Moines and south to Kent-Des Moines Rd and from the marina east to 13th Avenue S.
Commissioner John Rayback said they not know the source yet but suspect it might have been a false reading. Pipes were to be flushed with chlorine and then flushed with fresh water to eliminate the chlorine as a precaution. "We flush our pipes with chlorine when needed," Rayback said. Water District 54 is one of the few districts in the state who do not regularly add chlorine to their water, unlike Highline and Seattle. " If inspectors contaminate the sample, it can give you a false-positive," Rayback added. Rayback said samples are taken each month. A test further downstream tested for coliform so further tests are needed.
The boil water order will continue through mid-week. For the time being, customers can pick up free bottled water from the water district office located at 922 S. 219 Street.
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