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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

District 3 boil order still in effect

A boil order remained in effect on Saturday for 4,000 customers of Spokane County Water District 3 in the Country Homes area just north of the Spokane city limits.

Water District 3 officials said they were hoping to complete treatments of the contamination by today so that residents and other customers can again begin drinking water without boiling it first.

Customers can call the district’s recorded message phone line at (509) 536-0121 to check on the status of the water contamination, which was caused by E. coli bacteria. The boil order went into effect on Thursday.

The cause of the contamination was under investigation by the water district, said Hoyt Ayles of Water District 3.

The area affected by the contamination is bounded by Francis Avenue on the south, Cedar Road and Country Homes Boulevard on the west, Country Homes Boulevard on the north and Division Street on the east.

Elsewhere in Spokane and North Idaho, water providers were still trying to determine the causes of separate contaminations at Hauser Lake and in the Glenrose area southeast of Spokane.

The contamination in Water District 3 affected only about half of the district’s 8,500 customers, Ayles said.

The E. coli was found in a separate part of the district that is served by a pair of water towers and associated wells.

Evergreen Elementary School, which is served by Whitworth Water District, closed for the day on Friday before school officials determined that the water supply to the school was not part of Water District 3. Classes were expected to resume on Monday.

Ayles said Water District 3’s water system is located just across the street from Evergreen, making the precautions by school officials understandable.

The only school affected by the District 3 contamination was St. Thomas More School at 8112 N. Howard, district officials said.

Rick Adkins of East Spokane Water District 1 said fewer than a dozen homes were affected by bacterial contamination there. Clean water was restored a week ago to the small portion of the district at the Broadmore Estates development near 25th Avenue and Glenrose Road after the water tower serving the area was broken into.

He said the district provided residents there with bottled water as a courtesy until the tank could be cleaned and disinfected. The district has an informal policy of providing bottled water to inconvenienced customers, Adkins said.

At Hauser Lake, water association workers cleaned a tank that was contaminated with E. coli late last month about the time that two screens on overflow vents were found to be missing.

Joe Leigh of the water association said the tank was being refilled Saturday, and he hoped that water users could once again begin to use the water safely today. He said association customers would be notified when the pipes and tank were safe.

Kootenai County sheriff’s detectives were reportedly looking into any possible criminal activity involving the Hauser Lake problem, but Leigh said he believed the contamination came from “natural causes.”

There was no indication of any connection among the three contaminations, although officials said the timing seemed unusual.

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