Group B Water Systems - Emergencies

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Help for Group B Water Systems During Emergencies

If you have a drinking water emergency during normal work hours:

  • Call your Local Health Jurisdiction (LHJ).
  • If you can't get through to your local health jurisdiction during normal working hours, call your DOH regional office.
  • For after-hours emergencies call the DOH after-hours emergency hotline at 1-877-481-4901. This number is for after-hour emergencies only: M-F after 5:00 p.m. and weekends.
  • Take immediate action: conduct public notice (see below) and take corrective action.

Regional offices

  • Eastern Region 509-329-2100
  • Southwest Region 360-236-3030
  • Northwest Region 253-395-6750
  • Toll-free in Washington 1-800-521-0323

After hours emergency hotline 1-877-481-4901

Public notice references

Because of the significant health risks associated with most drinking water emergencies, you must notify all of your consumers right away. The public notification templates linked below cover many types of emergencies. Use them to communicate with your customers about an emergency.

Disinfection and water quality testing

Disinfection is a necessary response to many types of drinking water emergencies. Follow our guidance on Emergency Chlorination of Group B System

During and after an emergency event it's often necessary to collect water quality samples for coliform bacteria and/or nitrate. For a list of certified labs, visit the state Department of Ecology. Call the lab to make sure it's accredited to analyze for coliform bacteria and nitrate.

Other resources

Advice to help you during and after a flood, and in the cases where your system loses water pressure due to a water main break, pump failure, or other mishap.