Snoqualmie water samples come back OK
October 2, 2008 · Updated 2:39 PM
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.