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Authorities Warn People in Pend Oreille County They're Next For Flooding

NE Washington Tri-County Health District

Many communities in northeastern Washington have already been dealing with flooding and its complications. Forecasters say the Pend Oreille River may be next with peak flows possible by the middle part of next week. Health officials are warning homeowners to use their time wisely and protect their property.

Matt Schanz, the administrator of the Tri-County Health District says his office is already receiving calls from homeowners along the Pend Oreille River worried that their wells may be contaminated by flood water.

“Once those private wells are impacted by flood waters, people should not consume those waters until flood waters recede," Schanz said. "They should disinfect those wells and we have a process that takes people through how they can disinfect their wells, flush those water systems out and then test to confirm that those waters are safe and to drink once people start to reoccupy their home.”

Schanz says the Pend Oreille County PUD has issued boil water advisories for the Sandy Shores and Riverbend water systems, due to flood contamination.

He says property owners should also take steps to ensure flood waters can’t get into their septic systems.

Schanz says people who live in Spokane and yet own property along the Pend Oreille River should be paying attention to the flood warnings.

“What I want to do is make sure people are aware of what that flood potential is as we go forward into the next two weeks. If they have property, it’s just being aware of what’s happening and that they need to take action to get their properties ready for those flood waters," he said.

The Tri-County Health District has flood-related information at its website.