Total Coliform present in Royalwood Water System

The Royalwood Water System, ID#74743Y, located in Kitsap County and owned by Washington Water Service, routinely monitors for the presence of total coliform bacteria. Today, we received test results confirming that this type of bacteria was detected in the monthly bacteriological sample collected on September 20, 2022. Although this incident is not an emergency, as our customer, you have a right to know what happened and what is being done to correct the situation.

Coliforms are bacteria that are naturally present in the environment, harmless to the general population and used as an indicator that other potentially harmful bacteria may be present. The presence of coliform bacteria is a warning of potential problems, because pathogens (organisms that could cause disease) may also enter the system via the same route as the coliform bacteria. Any samples that are positive for the presence of coliforms are further tested to see if other bacteria of greater concern, such as fecal coliform or E. coli are present. Fecal coliform and E. coli were not detected. Your water was, and continues to be, safe to drink. You do not need to boil your water. People with severely compromised immune systems, infants, and some elderly may be at an increased risk and may want to contact their health care provider for additional guidance.

What has been done, or is being done, to correct the problem?

Wednesday, September 21 – Upon learning of the positive result, follow-up samples were collected throughout the system, including from the original sample site X3, from upstream and downstream in the distribution system at sample locations R31 and R32, at Well SO2 AEK606, and at the storage tank. This is to confirm the presence of coliform bacteria and to determine its source/origin so it can be eliminated.

Friday September 23 – The results of follow-up samples confirmed the presence of total coliform bacteria in the distribution system and storage tank; however, they were absent of E.coli. The raw water source, Well SO2, was absent of total coliform bacteria.

Friday, September 23 – Today, chlorine will be added to the storage tank. Chlorinated water will then be flushed through the water system to eliminate the coliform bacteria from the distribution mains. We will collect additional water samples once this work is complete to confirm the coliforms have been eliminated from the system. These test results are expected to be available the afternoon of September 27.

During this process, there will be no interruption to your water service, and your water will be chlorinated between 0.2 -0.8 parts per million (ppm). This is a minimal amount of chlorination to protect public health and is well below the allowable limit of 4 ppm.

We are working with our engineering staff to determine additional steps and further improvements that can be made to the water system to reduce the potential of total coliform being detected in the water system.

 As a reminder, your water is safe to drink. You do not need to boil your water. We appreciate your understanding as we work to correct this water quality issue. If you have any questions, please contact our Customer Service team toll-free at (877) 408-4060 or locally at (253) 851-4060.