COLIFORM MAXIMUM CONTAMINATE LEVEL (MCL) EXCEEDED – NON-ACUTE MCL AND TEMPORARY WATER SYSTEM CHLORINATION

Beginning Wednesday, January 10, 2018 we will be feeding a small amount of chlorine which will possibly become apparent at the customer taps. This is being done as part of the investigation of a routine bacteriological sample testing positive for Total Coliform (negative for possible disease causing e-coli and fecal coliform). Please see “PRECAUTIONS” below for more information.

AFFECTED AREA: The South Bay service area lying east of the Ludlow Creek and the North Bay service area east of Oak Bay Road. Additional to this are customers on Osprey Ridge downhill of Wren Ct. including the commercial development containing Snug Harbor Cafe, Dental Office, Sound Bank and Coldwell Banker. The area is served by Wells 14 and 16 and Reservoirs C and D

THE REASON: OLYMPIC WATER & SEWER, INC. Water System, I.D. 68700L, located in Jefferson County submitted routine drinking water samples to a certified laboratory for the month of December 2017 for total coliform analysis. The sample was collected on December 13, 2017.

The test results indicated that there was Total Coliform bacteria present in the sample but no fecal or E. Coli.

 The samples were taken from routine sample stations at 142 Crestview Drive and 92 Dunsmuir Rd. Because of the configuration of the water pipes, we are confident that the only properties potentially affected are in the South Bay Service area and (south and east) of Oak Bay Road with the exception of the Loomis Properties Commercial area.

PRECAUTIONS: Since only Total Coliform has been detected, there is no immediate health risk to our customers. If an immediate health risk had existed, you would have been notified right away. However, as a precaution the Washington State Department of Health has recommend that if you are currently taking chemotherapy, undergoing kidney dialysis, or have an immune deficiency you may want boil water. Total Coliforms are common in the environment and are generally not harmful themselves, however any indication of contamination is thoroughly investigated.

INVESTIGATION: The following investigation and follow up actions are being taken in consultation with Washington State Department of Health:

All of the wells and storage reservoirs that serve the area were tested for total coliforms. The samples from the wells were negative, however the reservoirs on Teal Lake Rd. and at the top of Highland Drive (past the golf course pro shop) tested positive as well as the follow up sample from the original sampling areas on Crestview Drive and Dunsmuir Rd. Weeks of flushing and retesting have provided results that are indicating low level coliform to no coliform results that are very inconsistent. Due to those inconsistent results chlorination is the next step in eliminating the coliform.

Summary of Samples and Lab Analysis: (all negative fore-coli)

  • Initial samples on Crestview Drive and Dunsmuir Rd.: Positive for Total Coliform
  • Follow up on samples on Crestview Drive and Dunsmuir Rd.: Positive for Total Coliform
  • Wells 14 and 16: Negative for all coliform
  • Sample at Reservoir C (Highland Drive): Positive for Total Coliform
  • Sample at Reservoir D (Teal Lake ): Positive for Total Coliform

While we continue our investigation we have decided that the most efficient way to cure the problem is through a light chlorination. We will continue this for up to two weeks, or until all of our follow up samples show that the problem has been corrected.

While we strive to deliver the highest quality water possible to our customers, unfortunately situations such as this do occur periodically in a non-chlorinated system. Thank you for your understanding and patience. Please do not hesitate to call us with questions.

Sincerely,

Larry Smith
President
(360) 437-8246 direct
(360) 437-2101 main office

Greg Rae
Operations Supervisor
(360) 437-7898

Email:  owsi@portludlowassociates.com

Below is further information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding Total Coliform.

The following is mandatory language required by the Environmental Protection Agency in these situations.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets water standards and has determined that the presence of total coliforms is a possible health concern.  Total coliforms are common in the environment and are generally not harmful themselves.  The presence of these bacteria in drinking water, however, generally is a result of a problem with water treatment or the pipes which distribute the water, and indicates that the water may be contaminated with organisms that can cause disease.  Disease symptoms may include diarrhea, cramps, nausea, and possibly jaundice, and any associated headaches and fatigue.  These symptoms, however, are not just associated with the disease causing organisms in drinking water, but may also be caused by a number of other factors other than your drinking water.  EPA has set an enforceable drinking water standard for total coliforms to reduce the risk of these adverse health effects.  Drinking water which meets this standard is usually not associated with a health risk from disease-causing bacteria and should be considered safe.