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October 4, 2007: Spanaway Water Company Issues Boil Water Notice Due To E. coli Contamination

The Bethel School District in Washington has closed ten area schools today due to a report of possible E. coli-contaminated tap water..

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The following information has been posted on the Bethel School District website (please visit www.bethelsd.org to read the entire announcement):

District schools in Spanaway will be closed on Thursday, following reports of potential contamination by Spanaway Water Company.

The schools are Clover Creek, Camas Prairie, Thompson, Spanaway Elementary, Evergreen, Naches Trail, Cedarcrest, Spanaway Jr. High, Spanaway Lake, Challenger, Thompson Preschool, Spanaway Lake Preschool, Evergreen Head Start, and the Lab Building (transition program).

All other district schools will remain open.

Health officials urged the closing of Spanaway-area schools late Wednesday, based on the difficulty of serving sanitary food without a fresh water supply, as well as other safety concerns.

The Spanaway Water Company also issued a press release (see www.spanaway-water.org/news_waterboil.html for entire release) dated October 3, 2007 stating:

Spanaway Water Company, located in the Spanaway Area south of Tacoma, effective immediately, is issuing a precautionary boil water notice to all customers of Spanaway Water Company. If you are unsure whether you are served by Spanaway Water Company, please check one of your water company’s bill receipts to confirm that you are served by Spanaway Water Company. This boil water notice will remain in effect until repeat samples and confirmation water quality samples confirm that the water is safe to drink.

The water company advises residents that when using tap water they should:

…bring water to a rolling boil for five (5) minutes if it will be used for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth, mixing infant formula, dishwashing, and ice making. The water may be used for other purposes. Alternatively, bottled water may be used.

The company has also set up a water station at the Home Depot (located on the north side of 152ndSt./Military Rd. and A St.) which may be used for filling water containers. This station will be operated from 6:00 am to midnight, until testing indicates that the tap water is safe. Consumers must bring their own water containers.

Routine water testing detected E. coli in two water samples and total coliform bacteria (bacteria that serve as an indicator that pathogens may be present) in a third sample. Additional testing is being conducted, and findings should be available later today.

Although the source of the contamination is not known, Spanaway Water Company is working with the Washington State Department of Health to determine the cause.

Symptoms of E.coli infection may include severe abdominal cramps and watery diarrhea. The diarrhea may become bloody and can lead to dehydration. Sometimes there are no symptoms at all. There is usually little or no fever. Symptoms usually resolve in 5-10 days. For more information, visit About E. coli.

Complications of E. coli infection may include Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), a serious medical condition that may occur in about 2%-7% of cases. For more information, visit E. coli Complications. Also visit www.ecolilawsuit.com.

The above information has been posted as a courtesy by Food Poisoning Lawyer, Eric H. Weinberg. Please read carefully, visit the referenced sites, and keep yourself and your loved ones safe!

For information concerning recent food poisoning outbreaks and food poisoning litigation, please see Peanut Butter Lawyer and Peanut Butter Lawsuit.

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