E. coli bacteria prompts city water advisory

SNOQUALMIE - The city of Snoqualmie had a brief brush with the E. coli bacteria over the weekend, putting out a four-day advisory for residents in the historic part of the city to boil their water before drinking it.

The city sent out a notice on Oct. 31 that a small amount of E. coli had been discovered that morning in the Canyon Springs water source that supplies water for the entire historic portion of Snoqualmie. E. coli, short for Escherichia coli, is a bacteria found in fecal matter.

"There are 20 strains of E. coli, 19 of which are found in your stomach," said Snoqualmie Public Works Director Kirk Holmes.

Holmes said tests are still being done to see if the strain that can cause serious illness, O157, was the strain found in Snoqualmie's water.

According to Holmes, trace amounts of E. coli were found around 11 a.m. and following procedure, the city notified the state Department of Health (DOH). The city of Snoqualmie had to run any press releases past the DOH, which didn't approve them until after 2 p.m.

Once their public information release was approved, the city sent out employees to all the downtown businesses to warn of the outbreak and ask that all water be boiled before human use. The advisory was posted at the post office, the King County Library System branch in Snoqualmie, at the city offices on Railroad Avenue and on the city of Snoqualmie's Web site ( An E-lert was also sent out and city staff called the Snoqualmie Valley School District, as well as doctors' and dentists offices.

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