The city of Kalama issued a boil-water advisory to the 1,500 homes and businesses it serves after a water line valve broke, causing about a third of the city to lose water service. The advisory affects all customers.
There were reports of water damage to some businesses. The Cowlitz County Health Department is working with local food establishments on safety precautions.
The valve break occurred at a water main construction site near Kalama High School. City crews had repaired the break and restored water service by midmorning. They issued the health advisory because potentially harmful bacteria can get into water lines when pressure is lost.
To kill bacteria, the state Department of Health recommends boiling tap water used for drinking, brushing teeth, preparing food, washing dishes, and making ice. Water should be briskly boiled for one minute and allowed to cool before use.
The state Department of Health is working closely with the city.
Customers will be notified when the water is safe to drink. Those who have questions about their water can the City of Kalama at 360-673-3706.