City advises residents to flush their lines to clear out any potential left over contamination

A boil water notice has been lifted in Tigard, following a day-long announcement Wednesday.

John Goodrich, Tigard's utility management director, told The Tigard Times Thursday morning that residents could resume drinking water normally and would no longer need to boil their water or rely on bottled water.

It's good news for the thousands of residents in Tigard, Bull Mountain, King City and Durham preparing for Thanksgiving meals.

Goodrich said that residents should flush their lines as one final precaution before consuming water.

Crews flushed the entire water distribution system on Wednesday to alleviate the problem, but the city said it wouldn't know if its actions had resolved the problem until early Thursday.

"We don’t know what the cause was, but the flushing was able to get rid of whatever contamintion was in that localized area," Goodrich said.

The notice went into effect Wednesday morning for the entire Tigard Water Service Area, and did not affect Portland, Metzger, or Tigard residents north of Highway 217, who get their water from the Tualatin Valley Water District, or Tualatin, Bridgeport or Sherwood.

Residents were asked to boil any water used for drinking, preparing food, brushing teeth, washing dishes and making ice, and to dispose of any ice or beverages made after Sunday, Nov. 18.

The city first learned of the contamination on Tuesday after two routine water samples in Durham and Tigard showed possible bacterial contamination. The city resampled the sites to confirm its findings on Wednesday, and the coliform and E. coli were confirmed at the Durham testing site.

After the results were confirmed on Wednesday, the city put the boil water notice in place.

"For most folks this was not an issue," Goodrich said. "But we want to be cautious when it comes to the public health, which was why we put the boil water notice in place for the entire area."

The contaminates indicated that the water may have been contaminated with human or animal waste, which can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches and other symptoms.

Goodrich said the city may never know what contaminated the water. The contamination may have occurred when increased run-off entered the drinking water source after heavy rains over the past several days, or have been due to a break in the pipes or failure in the water treatment process.

For more information, visit the city's website

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