Bottled water keeps elementary school open during E.coli advisory

SEATTLE -- Stacks of fresh bottles of water greeted faculty and students at Des Moines Elementary school Monday morning.

The bottled water was delivered to keep the school open after King County Water District 54 issued a notice to water customers to boil their tap water to eliminate exposure to E. coli bacteria.

More than 5,000 customers in southwest King County received the notice after a tap tested positive for the potentially harmful E. coli bacteria Saturday.

The boil water advisory was issued for King County Water District 54 in Des Moines and Normandy Park, extending from South 212th Street to Ken-Des Moines Road and from the sound to 14th Avenue. All food establishments within those boundaries were ordered to suspend operations until the advisory was lifted.

Officials said the advisory would remain in effect until workers flushed the system with chlorine and water samples tested negative forE. coli. Officials are also looking into the source of the contamination.

“The safety of our customers is our top priority,” King County Water District 54 superintendent Eric Clarke said. “We’re working closely with the state to resolve this problem as quickly as possible.”

Bottled water and hand sanitizer was slated to be on hand at Des Moines Elementary School. The school would remain open and a cold lunch prepared off-site would be available for students.

Officials encouraged bringing drinking water to a brisk boil for about one minute and allowing it to cool before use. Water should be boiled for drinking, brushing teeth, preparing food, making ice and washing dishes.

Customers who have questions about their water quality can call the water district at 206-878-7210. You can view a map of the water district here.

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