Depressurization Events

Important Information Regarding Depressurization Events:

As you know, storm activity in our area may cause power outages. If any of our pumping facilities lose power the customers on that system may experience a ‘Depressurization Event’ as a result of the loss of power.

Because your health is important to us, we want to explain in greater detail the steps we have, and will continue to take, to protect the water supply during a depressurization event. We would also like to inform you of the measures you may choose to take to protect your health should a pressure loss event occur.

Even well designed and operated water systems, such as those operated by North Kootenai Water District, may experience pressure loss (depressurization events) from time to time. When a significant pressure loss occurs there is a potential for back flow or cross connection contamination to occur in the water system’s distribution system, thus initiating an opportunity for contaminants to be drawn into the drinking water supply. We have done our best to limit this potential through the implementation of our cross connection control program and by continually disinfecting our system with low levels of chlorine.

While we have established these preventative measures to significantly diminish the potential for contamination, it is not possible for any public drinking water system to completely rule out the potential for contamination during a depressurization event. This potential for the introduction of microbial and chemical contaminants into the water system may pose a special health risk for people with weakened immune systems (immuno-compromised persons), children, and the elderly. If such contamination were to occur it might cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, headaches, or other symptoms.

If you are concerned about the potential for contamination due to a depressurization event, and you notice a decrease in pressure at your tap, please consume bottled water. Boiling your water, while effective in killing bacteria, may not be effective to ensure that you are protected from all potential contamination.

In the event of a depressurization of the system North Kootenai Water District’s certified operators will collect bacteria samples from each of our water systems. If any sample is positive (results take 24 hours for the laboratory to run the coliform test) the District will flush, disinfect and retest the effected areas. You will be mailed a letter notifying you of any positive results.