Coliform Public Health Advisory Packet


We developed the Coliform Public Health Advisory Packet webpage to provide the tools you will use to manage fecal contamination in your water supply. We will work closely with you to help you identify the source of contamination, eliminate it, and determine if you need to issue a public health advisory.

Public Health Advisory: Coliform 331-179 English (PDF) | Public Health Advisory: Coliform 331-179 Spanish (PDF)

Coliform Bacteria and Drinking Water 331-181 (PDF)

Troubleshooting Checklist for Coliform Contamination 331-180 (PDF)

Emergency Disinfection of Small Water Systems 331-242 (PDF)

Emergency Water Supply Guidelines for Food Service Establishments webpage

Drinking Water After-Hours Emergency Hotline 331-133 (PDF)

Treatment of Drinking Water for Emergency Use 331-115 (PDF)

Office of Drinking Water authority over operators and water systems 331-449 (PDF)

Public notification templates and forms

You can choose from the Drinking Water Warning template or the Door Hanger template to provide public notice to your customers in an emergency. You must distribute one or both of these templates to all of your customers within 24 hours in the event of an acute maximum contaminant level (MCL) violation or other emergency that requires a health advisory.

Boil Water Door Hanger—English and Spanish

Use this template to inform your customers of contamination in the system and precautions they can take. Door hangers include information in English and Spanish. You can get door hangers from local health departments, our regional offices, or download the Microsoft Word or PDF template at right.

Ways to use door hangers to quickly inform customers during a public health advisory

  • Write information on each door hanger.
  • Fill in the top portion of the door hangers. Then print labels with the water system name, ID#, county, contact person's name and phone number, and the date you distribute the notice. Attach label to the bottom of each notice.
  • Complete the Drinking Water Warning template, make photocopies, and then staple a copy to the door hanger. This will draw attention to the notice.

Drinking Water Warning

This public notice template provides detailed information about health effects and instructions for your customers. You can download templates for community and noncommunity water systems in Microsoft Word or PDF at right.

You can use the Drinking Water Warning template to notify your customers in response to an E. coli or fecal Coliform positive sample result. You may reformat this template, but the content must remain the same. Type or write all the information required to complete the template. Next, copy it on brightly-colored paper and distribute it to all of your customers.

Coliform Public Notice Certification (form)

You must complete and mail the form to us within 10 days of notifying your customers of an acute MCL violation. You must also send us a copy of the public notice you proved to your customers.

Public Notice Certification E.coli MCL Violation 331-264-F (PDF) | Public Notice Certification E.coli MCL Violation 331-264-F (Word)

News Releases Templates

We sometimes advise water systems serving more than 100 connections to use a news release to communicate with customers through the news media. These templates help you present information in a media-suitable format. If you need help contacting the media, call our nearest regional office.

*Some publications recommend boiling the water for three to five minutes. We recommend customers bring their drinking water to a rolling boil for one minute.

You can get a hardcopy of this packet from our regional offices below or order one from our publications page. Click for map of regional offices (PDF).

Eastern Region: Spokane Valley 509-329-2100

Northwest Region: Kent 253-395-6750

Southwest Region: Tumwater 360-236-3030

After-hours Emergency: 877-481-4901