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Health, Science & Environment

Drinking Water Advisories Lifted in Davis County

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Judy Fahys/KUER
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Confidence about the drinking water in the Davis County towns of Clinton and Syracuse after last week's boil advisory. Kimberly Slater's family (including daughters Aabri, Mattilyn and Shaylee and son, Declan) will stick with bottled for now.

By Thursday morning, officials in the cities of Syracuse and Clinton had lifted boil-water notices that had been in place since last week. Potentially dangerous fecal coliform and the bacteria e. coli were found in drinking water systems. In separate incidents in each community, pipes for untreated irrigation water had been accidently connected to culinary lines.

Brian Hatch, deputy director for the Davis County Health Department, calls the incidents important lessons.

“It starts with residents educating themselves on the difference between the two [primary and secondary water] systems,” he says. “It’s imperative that you don’t connect the two.”

Both cities flushed the pipes clean with chlorinated water. They’re still monitoring reports of anyone who might have gotten sick because of the contamination.

And they’re coaching thousands of affected residents and businesses on how to decontaminate their own water lines.

Even though the tap water's been declared clean, there’s a lingering aftertaste -- at least for one affected family. 

Kimberly Slater remembers feeling concerned about giving her newborn son sponge baths back when the Clinton water department issued a similar advisory last summer. As she feeds the now 11-month-old Declan lunch at a playground just hours after the latest advisory was lifted, she’s still wary.

“And now that it’s fixed, you can smell the chlorine,” she says. “It’s like drinking swimming pool water to me. So, we’ll probably continue drinking the bottled water, I dunno, maybe from here on out just because that’s how good my faith in the system is.”

The Davis County Health Department officials say contamination cases like this are unusual. Meanwhile, Syracuse and Clinton are offering  advice to citizens about dealing with the tainted water systems on their web pages and on Facebook.

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