UPDATE: Water District #54’s ‘Boil Advisory’ lifted after four days

Water District #54 announced Wednesday afternoon that the ‘boil advisory’ – in effect since Saturday, Sept. 21 – has been lifted.

Customers no longer need to boil their tap water, as lab tests show the water now meets safe drinking water standards.

The district issued the first boil-water advisory on Saturday, after potentially harmful E. coli bacteria were detected in routine water quality monitoring samples.

State and local health departments worked with Water District 54 staff throughout the weekend. The state Office of Drinking Water inspected the water system with district staff on Monday and found no obvious source of entry for E. coli bacteria. That is often the case with water system inspections because much of every water distribution system is buried underground.

The water district staff activated its emergency chlorination equipment to disinfect the water distribution system and flushed the water lines before collecting the water quality samples. The state Department of Health based its decision to end the boil-water aviary on results of its inspection, the district’s continued disinfection treatment and water quality sample results.

A statement released by the district said that no reports of illness linked to the water system have been identified.

Public Health – Seattle & King County ordered 39 food service establishments to close while the advisory was in effect.

The Health Department will visit each food establishment in the affected area to ensure they follow safe food handling procedures before food service operations resume.

“The restaurants will need to follow the guideline from Public Health – Seattle & King County regarding safe food handling procedures before food service operations resume,” said Vic Pennington in an email. “Public Health – Seattle & King County was out today distributing information.”

“We appreciate the patience shown by our customers as we worked through this situation,” said Water District 54 Manager Eric Clarke. “We understand the boil-water advisory was inconvenient, but we didn’t want to take a chance on even one person getting sick.”

The District serves customers in the core of Des Moines and the far south section of Normandy Park in an area from Puget Sound, east to 13th Ave South and Kent-Des Moines Road north to South 212th Street:


Residents who have questions about their water quality can call the district at (206) 878-7210.


One Response to “UPDATE: Water District #54’s ‘Boil Advisory’ lifted after four days”
  1. Dave Kaplan says:

    Thankfully our long local nightmare is over (you can drink Water District #54 water without boiling it first.) Lots of lessons learned on this one, including changes that will need to be made when it comes to communications.

    While they will be compensated through claims to the Water District’s insurance carrier, we need to celebrate the restoration of Water in the Des Moines Marina District by patronizing our restaurants and other businesses over the next week. Please make a special visit to any of our good eating establishments this week!

    And to our Marina District businesses, thank you for your perseverance. Remember, when you are compensated by the Water District, please make sure that your employees are also compensated for their lost wages! Thank you.

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