HEADLINE: SALLAL WATER ASSOCIATION – SAMPLING UPDATE
Contact: Denny Scott, 425-888-3650
UPDATE FRIDAY, September 20, 2019 4:00 PM:
The BOIL WATER ADVISORY remains in effect for the entire Sallal service area.
What is the Current Status?
Today (Friday, September 20th) we received the results from the lab for the twenty-five (25) system-wide samples that were taken on Wednesday, September 18th. Unfortunately, we got five new hits for E. coli. One of those came directly from Well #2 at Rattlesnake, which is a source for the entire system. We have shut down that well as of early Friday afternoon (September 20th) and will be able to serve all members from the two remaining wells for many months, if necessary.
How Did We Get Here?
The original samples taken from the Riverpoint area on Mt Si Road that presented E. coli were reported by the lab late Friday evening, September 13th. Per Department of Health guidelines, notification is not made to customers until the findings can be confirmed to ensure that we do not cause a panic over a false positive result. To verify the results, staff immediately collected additional samples. However, the results did not come back from the lab until the following Monday, September 16th. Those results showed one positive and one negative for the sampling location. After consultation with the Department of Health, staff took a third round of samples from the Riverpoint neighborhood on Monday afternoon. On the afternoon of Tuesday, September 17th, conclusive results came back from the lab.
Staff then immediately began calling residents in the affected area and went door to door notifying members in that area. Staff also began testing the entire system. Because the Sallal Water System circulates water from all three wells, the entire system was placed on a boil water advisory the afternoon of Wednesday, September 18th.
How Can I be Kept Informed?
Sallal has over 5,000 customers, and we are currently unable to call everyone in these kinds of emergencies. If you did not receive an e-mail from Sallal regarding this advisory, please send us your e-mail address at email@example.com to be added to our emergency distribution list. Please advise your neighbors of this distribution list as well. If you have a neighbor who does not have a computer, please have them call the Sallal Office and we can add them to a phone list.
We also suggest that you register your contact information with the King County Emergency Management System. We use their system to contact members in emergencies as well.
Who is Affected?
If you pay a water bill to Sallal Water Association, you must boil your water. Additionally, residents of Wilderness Rim are also affected by this advisory.
The Riverbend community and Travel Centers of America is exempt from this Advisory as they are on separate well systems.
The BOIL WATER Advisory cannot be lifted until this situation is remedied. While the compromised Well #2 has been turned off, E. coli remains in the system. The whole system will be sanitized with chlorine before it will be safe to drink the water. The earliest that Sallal operators believe that we can lift the Advisory is the week of October 1st. This is due to the process of sanitizing and refilling the tank and retesting the water.
What Can You Do in the Meantime?
Bottled water is currently available for affected customers at the Sallal office, while supplies last.
We can also deliver water during business hours to the elderly or incapacitated members who are unable to leave their home to obtain bottled water for themselves.
The Board of Trustees have approved reimbursement for purchased bottled water with receipts. At this time, the Board has not yet determined the process to follow for reimbursements as they are concentrating on supporting the staff. Please wait until the advisory has been lifted before contacting staff regarding reimbursement.
You may continue to use your water for showering, washing clothes, and washing dishes if you use a hot cycle and make sure the dishes are dry before using. Pets should also not drink the water. More information is available at the Office of Drinking Water website.
We apologize for the continued inconvenience and appreciate your patience and understanding during this difficult situation. Please continue to monitor www.sallal.com for updates. Any members are welcome to contact Sallal directly at firstname.lastname@example.org which is being monitored frequently during business hours. Thank you for your continued efforts during this incident.