News

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


department.


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


reading.


"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


protocols."


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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