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Boil order issued for Kamas

The boil order was still in effect as of Tuesday.
Carolyn Franks - stock.adobe.com
A boil order was issued for the city of Kamas on Saturday.

The city of Kamas issued a temporary boil notice Saturday morning after water samples indicated the presence of E. coli and coliform bacteria.

All residents are advised to bring water to a rolling boil for three minutes before using it to drink, cook, wash hands, wash dishes, or brush teeth. Showering in untreated water is not recommended. However, pets may drink the water, the notice said.

In a message posted to Instagram on Sunday, Kamas Mayor Matt McCormick said the city has flushed the entire water system and evaluated it with chlorination testing.

"Those tests have shown good chlorination residuals throughout the entire community," he said.

On Saturday, the city also conducted the first retest for bacteria and sent those samples to the Summit County Health Department for evaluation, McCormick said in the post.

Each test for contaminants takes 24 hours to process, he explained. If the results indicate no bacteria, a second round of testing — which also takes 24 hours — is needed to confirm those results. If they also come back negative, the boil order will be lifted.

"While this can be frustrating and inconvenient, I'm sure you will agree that what is most important is the safety of our community," McCormick said.

In a statement released Saturday, Kamas city officials said the Summit County Health Department notified the city's water department on May 25 that a sample taken within the city’s water system had tested positive for E. coli bacteria. The same day, the city said it took repeat samples which returned positive. A sample taken on May 26 tested positive for coliform bacteria.

City officials say they have been in contact with both the county health department as well as the Utah Division of Drinking Water since being notified of the issue.

“Our water operators are working hard at determining” the cause of contamination, the statement said.

That investigation includes “looking for possible cross connection issues from illegal secondary water hookups,” and “increasing sampling for coliform bacteria to determine the source of the contamination,” according to the statement. The city will also complete a Level 2 Assessment with the state's water quality division “in the coming weeks.”

This is a developing story. KPCW will update it as more information becomes available.

Kamas City