Snoqualmie water samples come back OK

SNOQUALMIE - Subsequent tests of the city's water supply

indicate no presence of coliforms, said an official with the city's public works


On July 21, a routine, monthly sample taken from one of the

city's testing areas showed that the

"coliform maximum containment level" had been exceeded, said Assistant

Public Works Director Kirk Holmes.

He said upon learning of the test results, the city resampled water at

the site, as well as at another site and sites upstream and downstream.

The results from those samples came back negative July 22.

Holmes said it's likely the water wasn't to blame for the positive


"We believe that the results of this sample that have come back

coliform-positive are the result (of the sampling) protocol," he said.

And while he said positive test results are "rare," "It is becoming

more common for systems to have these sorts of instances. We're working

hard to eliminate all the factors that could be a problem."

In a letter sent to Snoqualmie residents last week, informing them of

the positive test result, Holmes wrote: "Required repeat sampling has

taken place with satisfactory results being reported, and NO E. coli, fecals or

total coliforms detected.

"The city will continue to sample and test at increased levels to

ensure that your drinking water is safe. Currently, the city is working

towards improving the sampling procedure by increasing operator awareness,

improving sample sites and by adopting much more stringent sample


Holmes said his office hasn't received much of a response from

residents concerning the letter.

The recent test result comes at a time when other areas of the

Valley have had their own water problems.

A June 12 water sample in the Riverbend neighborhood of

North Bend showed traces of E. coli, but later tests came back negative. It's

unknown what caused the positive test, but it's possible that someone who

handled the sample had the bacteria on his or her hands.

And signs still warn swimmers and boaters at Rattlesnake Lake not to

ingest the water after Seattle Public Utility officials found fecal coliforms.

The department said culprits for the elevated coliform readings

could be geese, dog or human waste. It plans on conducting a $15,000 DNA

study to find the source of the waste, but results won't be available until the

end of the year.

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