Precautionary Advisory Measure Lifted 


August 23, 2023 – 1:30 PM – Ephrata, WA – The precautionary boil advisory for Ephrata has been cancelled. Residents can return to normal use of their tap water without concern when drinking, cleaning, or bathing.


“We felt very confident the results would indicate there was no threat to the community based on the situation, and we think the state drinking water people felt the same way. That’s why it was an advisory boil and not a full-blown boil order. It was strictly a precautionary step,” said City Administrator Ray Towry. “They required us to chlorinate and disinfect the system a few years ago for these types of instances.”


The City received calls complaining of low water pressure at about 5:10 AM Sunday morning. City staff found low, but not empty, reservoirs and a malfunctioning water monitoring system. The malfunction prevented the alarm system from issuing a warning that notifies staff of irregularities remotely during non-business hours. Staff manually turned on well pumps, overriding the automated system, flushed lines to remove stagnant water and air, and monitored the reservoirs as they refilled.


Monday morning there were some indications that “negative pressure,” or backflow, into the water system was a possibility. After confirming a “negative pressure” event was possible, city staff contacted the state’s drinking water officials for guidance. The City issued a boil advisory at the direction of the state as a cautionary measure.


An “advisory boil” is a precautionary measure initiated when there is potential of a water system emergency. Had the health risk to the community through the water system been likely, the state would have required a “boil order,” which includes additional requirements for system disinfection and additional communication that includes door to door notification and written signs or door knockers left at each residence.


For additional questions please contact City Hall at 509-754-4601.