Mercer Island still under boil-water advisory

Mercer Island still under boil-water advisory

On Sunday, Mercer Island officials stated that they are not sure whether the tap water in the city is safe for drinking or not.

Though the latest tests that were done have shown no traces of E. coli in water, still precautions are being taken. Further, the results of a series of more tests remain awaited as the water samples must be kept overnight before technicians can tell if there's any E. coli in it or not. This is at least an 18-hour process so the final results will be known only till Monday morning.

In view of this situation, the farmers' market was canceled at Mercerdale Park on Mercer Island on Sunday. Also, the Mercer Island School District will be closed on Monday as this will give the district time to sanitize classrooms and bathrooms just to be on the safe side.

Any other Sunday witnesses greater rush in all the Island's restaurants and bars as football or baseball fans fill in these places. But the same was not witnessed this Sunday. Almost 62 businesses were forced to close during the boil order and so the downtown Mercer Island was pretty much deserted. This closure order will prevail until the boil-water advisory is lifted.

The closure was announced after certain E. coli bacteria was found in water samples collected from the island's distribution system on Friday.

Escherichia coli is a gram-negative, anaerobic, rod-shaped bacterium of the genus. Though most strains of this fecal bacterium are harmless, some strains can make humans sick. This fact set off a mini-panic on Saturday as residents scoured stores for bottled water.

In the community centre, there were free cases of bottled water, two for each family.

Bob James, Northwest Region Manager for the Washington Department of Health Drinking Water Program, said, "We cannot find an obvious problem. The facilities are in good shape, the system is properly operated and maintained. We may never know exactly what caused this problem and that's not necessarily uncommon".

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