SPOKANE - The state yesterday told 475 customers of a Spokane Valley irrigation district to boil drinking water after a test found E. coli bacteria in a tap-water sample.
The state Department of Health order affects 1,600 people who live in the largely residential Carnhope Irrigation District.
The boil order will stand until the irrigation district installs equipment to kill bacteria by chlorinating the water.
The test did not indicate which type of E. coli was detected. E. coli is a family of bacteria. One variety, E. coli O157:H7, was blamed for the deaths of two children and hundreds of illnesses last January in the Northwest. The outbreak was linked to contaminated and undercooked hamburgers from Jack in the Box outlets.