By Sharon Salyer Herald Writer
TULALIP — A warning to boil drinking water has been issued to 49 households in unincorporated north Snohomish County that get their water from a private well.
Customers of the Marysville Estates/Aqua Hills Water System were sent notices Monday. The notices to boil drinking were issued after tests found unsatisfactory levels of coliform bacteria in the water, said Sondra LeBaron, the water system’s agent.
Since then, the water system has been chlorinated, she said, and additional water samples have been taken.
The results should be back today, she said. LeBaron said she will notify customers of the results.
Coliform bacteria are “kind of like the canary in the coal mine for us,” said Carolyn Cox, a state Department of Health spokeswoman. “If coliform are present, it’s an indication that some sort of contamination may be entering the system.”
The private drinking water system, owned by Iliad Inc., serves about 100 people, Cox said.
Kim Hilgenberg said that she moved to the community about two years ago. Houses in the area served by the well are on five-acre lots, she said.
Hilgenberg said she’s been boiling water since she received the drinking water notice Tuesday.
“I’m using hand sanitizer and bottled water for brushing my teeth,” she said. “I don’t feel comfortable taking a shower right now. You get that in your nose and mouth.”
Hilgenberg said 14 horses are pastured near the well that serves water-system customers.
“We’ve been talking to the owners,” LeBaron said, adding that she has asked them to put up a fence to keep the horses 100 feet away from the well. “No matter what, it will get done,” LeBaron said.
Reporter Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or firstname.lastname@example.org.