Oak Grove boil water notice likely to be in effect for several weeks

A boil water advisory for residents in the Oak Grove area may last for several weeks, according to the Hood River County Environmental Health Department.

The notice affects 120 homes and about 315 people in the area after E.Coli was found in water supply of the Oak Grove Water Company.

According to Mike Matthews, Hood River County Environmental Health Director, the contamination likely came from cracks in the company’s aging spring box, which allowed contaminated surface water to leak in.

Matthews said it was likely that animal waste introduced the bacteria into the water.


Water boil order area.

The spring box had been scheduled for repair, and state funds had been authorized to do so, but the bacteria contamination will now expedite the process.

The bacteria was discovered following a routine monthly test of the water supply on Nov. 26.

The results of the test came back positive for fecal coli form (E. Coli) bacteria on Nov. 28 and the state and county were then notified, prompting a boil water notice for affected residents.

“This notice is probably going to be in place for a couple weeks,” Matthews said.

All tap water which will be used for drinking or cooking. Washing dishes, brushing teeth or making ice should be brought to a rolling boil for at least a minute before being used.

The county also urged residents to throw out any beverages made with ice or tap water on or after Nov. 26.

“We’d been concerned this would happen,” Matthews said of leaks in the spring box.

The last sanitary survey conducted of the area’s water supply identified the aging spring box as a potential problem, and funds had recently been allocated to fix it.

E. Coli bacteria can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea and headaches among other symptoms, according to a county release on the boil water notice.

Residents on the Oak Grove Water company system who experience those symptoms should consider contacting their medical care provider.

The bacteria poses an elevated risk for the young, old and those with compromised immune systems.

Matthews encouraged anyone with questions about the boil water, or those who are not sure if they are connected to the Oak Grove Water Company supply to contact the county Environmental Health Services Department at 541-387-6885.

Matthews said the department will send out notices when the water is safe to drink again and no further traces of bacteria are detected.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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