Latest results show new bacteria found in Liberty Lake water sample
LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. — The Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District said its water boil advisory will be in place until further notice.
Additional test results confirmed Monday came back negative for E.coli, but positive for a new bacteria called total coliform.
Total coliform is a bacteria found in human and animal waste, but is not harmful to humans. E. coli is a specific strain of the coliform bacteria that can cause illness. Regardless, the water department said the water boil advisory still needs to stay in effect.
The advisory began on November 20 when a water sample from Western Peterbilt tested positive for E.coli. Crews also found E.coli in a sample taken from a fire hydrant on E. Appleway.
Sewer and Water District staff have been working to flush out the system and isolated the contaminated area.
Since November 20, businesses have been losing money because of the boil advisory.
4 News Now visited a couple of restaurants and stores in Liberty Lake and all of them had a sign saying they couldn’t sell something because they don’t have clean water.
A chef at Eat Good Cafe said they went through 40 or more jugs of water since the advisory went into effect.
“It’s just frustrating because you have to figure out a solution and there’s not anything you can do about it,” said Aaron fish, a chef with Eat Good Group.
They’re using jugs of water to wash vegetables they need to cook, slowing down the process of food prepping.
“It’s like changing anything in a system, throws a kink into it because it’s a new thing and everyone has to figure out what to do,” he said.
They had to get rid of some food and drinks they normally serve, like soda or coffee. They also had to change their menu a bit.
“We shut down a couple of the things that we do that require water like rice and beans and things like that just to avoid it,” he said.
So far, Fish said they’ve lost about $1,200 to $1,500 in sales.
“It’s not like someone in our business messed up, it’s just what it is and you have to work through it,” he said.
Fish said they don’t have it as bad as some other restaurants in the city, but it’s still inconvenient.
With Thanksgiving just days away, some have a big meal to prepare and this could make it a lot harder.
“We’re going to be making a huge meal for others, but not for us, basically, but for others yes,” said Melissa Wyatt, a Liberty Lake resident.
For Wyatt, having to boil water for Thanksgiving won’t be that big of a deal, because she’s Greek.
“Cooking Greek, we really don’t use a lot of water, we use a lot of butter, so, if we do have to boil water, we will,” she said.
She said being under the boil water advisory doesn’t bother her that much.
“They’ll figure it out and get it done,” she said.
BiJay Adams, general manager of the Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District, said they will continue to work until samples come back clean. They hope to take more samples Monday night. Those results should be back within 18 to 24 hours.
Adams said his staff is working around the clock to fix this issue, and they won’t stop until samples come back clean.
The cause of the contamination is still under investigation.
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