Beginning Wednesday, October 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)

AFFECTED AREA:  Service zone “B” is the area located east of Oak Bay Road. (See map on last page) This service zone originates at the well sites south east of Olympic Terrace 2 and supplies water to customers from the well sites North to Montgomery Court. The only Properties west of Oak Bay Road to receive water from these wells are the commercial development containing the 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  September 2018 for total coliform analysis.  The sample was collected on September 25, 2018.

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 a routine sample station at 412 Camber Lane.  Because of the configuration of the water pipes, we are confident that the only properties potentially affected are in service zone area “B” as described above.

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 Teal lake reservoir that serves the area were tested for coliforms.  The samples from the wells and Teal Lake reservoir were negative. Samples were pulled at the 412 Camber Lane sample station and at homes near the sample station in accordance with the OWSI coliform monitoring plan. The only follow up sample to have coliform present was located at 412 Camber Lane. On October 4 a sample was collected at reservoir “C” at the top of Highland Drive (past the golf course pro shop) that tested positive. A negative sample was collected on October 5 at reservoir “C. Flushing and retesting have provided results that are indicating coliform results that were very inconsistent. Due to those inconsistent results chlorination is the next step in eliminating the coliform.

OWSI has retained HDR Consulting Engineers to guide OWSI through the process of determining the source of the coliform. Once the source has been identified OWSI will take appropriate actions to eliminate the risk of future events.

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

  • Initial samples on Camber Lane: Positive for Total Coliform
  • Follow up on samples on Camber Lane.: 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 Rd.): Negative 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.


Greg Rae
Olympic Water and Sewer Inc.

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


Service Zone B is the unshaded area of the map