20 days without water in Airway Heights

KREM 2's Amanda Roley explains the testing that the City of Spokane has done that is similar to Airway Heights to make sure your tap water is safe to use. (6-5-17)

AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. – Residents in Airway Heights have now been without drinking water for 20 days.

Several viewers have asked KREM 2 what the city of Spokane is doing to prevent the same situation happening here. KREM 2 met with city officials to get the answer.

In March 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency asked the city of Spokane to test its water for the same chemicals that have contaminated the water in Airway Heights. Their results came back with no chemicals detected. In addition to this, the city of Spokane said it has several measures in place to make sure your drinking water is safe.

Marlene Fiest with the city of Spokane said the city has multiple wells that go to the same source.

“The Spokane Valley, Rathdrum, Prairie aquifers pulls from Lake Coeur d’Alene, Lake Pend Oreille, across the panhandle, through the Spokane Valley and much of the city of Spokane,” explained Fiest.

Fiest said the City’s water is being tested constantly.

“We do hundreds of testing every month for a variety of things. The frequency depends on the kind of things you’re looking for. We’re always looking for bacteria because that’s a constant test. And we test for other things that are required by the Department of Health or EPA,” said Fiest.

The city of Airway Heights pulls from a different aquifer than Spokane. Fiest said even though Spokane is helping its neighbors, there is a system in place that prevents the contaminated water in Airway Heights from contaminating Spokane’s.

“We have two inter-ties between us and the city of Airway Heights. The water goes on direction and we have back flow devices to prevent contaminated water from going into our system,” explained Fiest.

Spokane has naturally clean ground water and Fiest said in addition to the city testing the water quality, the rest of the community has to work together to keep it clean. She said residents should be mindful of the amount of pesticides they use on their lawn and even make sure to properly capture used oil when changing the oil in your car. 

© 2017 KREM-TV


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