UPDATE, 1:55 p.m. | The Mercer Island School District superintendent said he took a “preemptive approach” to the boil alert issued Thursday after E. coli was found in the water supply.
“In a preemptive approach anticipating that a new boil-water advisory might be issued by the City of Mercer Island, I alerted the district’s leadership team and our food services provider to notify staff and students that they should not consume water until further advised about the safety of our water supply,” District Superintendent Dr. Gary Plano said in a statement.
“District staff set up portable washing stations in school bathrooms and kitchens. Today we have removed all fresh food from the school lunch menu. In consultation with officials from the Department of Health, food prepared in a ‘heat and eat’ fashion was approved by health officials for Thursday and Friday, if needed,” he said.
“We are reviewing our bottled water supply to ensure there is enough water for students and staff in each building and taking appropriate action,” Plano said.
“Until further notice we are planning a normal school day for the reminder of today and tomorrow’s schedule is planned as normal, unless otherwise notified,” the statement said.
ORIGINAL POST | The City of Mercer Island has issued another advisory asking residents to boil their drinking water.
On Thursday afternoon the city announced that a sample of its water supply tested positive for E. coli. The news comes days after the bacteria was found in the water supply and later sampling found that it was gone.
City officials, in a statement, said:
“All water customers on the Island should boil their water before drinking, or use bottled water.
There are no confirmed reports of illness at this time.
Public Health – Seattle & King County orders all restaurants to close; inspectors will be visiting all locations to provide assistance.”
City officials say that residents need to use boiled or purchased water for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, and food preparation until further notice.
“Bring the water to a boil, let it boil for at least 1 minute, and let it cool before using. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms that could potentially be in the water.
Dishwashers can be used if run with the sanitizing/heat cycle and commercial dishwashing detergent. Dishes can be hand washed if rinsed in a diluted bleach solution – one teaspoon household bleach to one gallon of water – and then allowed to air dry.
Water can be used for bathing, but do not drink any of the water and do not allow babies to put the water or wet washcloth in the mouth.”
More details from the city are on mercergov.org.