Updated:OLYMPIA, Wash. —
Officials with the Washington State Department of Health are urging more than 5,000 southwest King County customers to boil their tap water because potentially harmful E. coli bacteria were detected in the water.
The advisory is for customers in the King County Water District 54, which includes customers near Des Moines and Normandy Park.
The district extends southward from South 212th Street to the Kent-Des Moines Road and eastward from Puget Sound to 14th Avenue.
"The safety of our customers is our top priority," said King County Water District 54 Superintendent Eric Clarke. "We're working closely with the state to resolve this problem as quickly as possible."
E. coli can cause gastrointestinal illness and to kill the it customers should boil any tap water used for drinking, brushing teeth, preparing food, making ice and washing dishes.
Staff will disinfect the system with chlorine and flush the chlorine out of the water lines, then collect more water samples. A Department of Health engineer will inspect the system to look for the source of the contamination.
The advisory will remain in effect until the water meets safe drinking water standards.
Customers who have questions about their water quality can call the water district at 206-878-7210.