Jefferson County Public Health
615 Sheridan Street
Port Townsend, WA 98368

December 11, 2014

For Immediate Release
Contact: Michael Dawson
Jefferson County Water Quality
(360) 385-9444

Health Advisory from Flooding

Port Townsend – Heavy rains have caused flooding in many parts of Jefferson County including Quilcene, Brinnon and western Jefferson County. Hazardous conditions exist and emergency personnel are assisting residents and travelers; please heed their warnings and take these precautions to protect your health and safety:
• Wells may become contaminated and household water may be unsafe to drink. Drink bottled water instead.
• Wash your hands frequently with soap and clean water if you come in contact with floodwaters. Septic systems may be flooded and adding pathogens to pollutants picked up by rising rivers and streams.
• Do not use your septic system when water is standing on the ground around it. The ground below will not absorb water from sinks or toilets.
• Adhere to emergency closures for the harvest of shellfish. Closed areas are Quilcene Bay north of the marina and Hood Canal from Seal Rock to the Jefferson County line including the mouths of the Dosewallips and Duckabush Rivers.

Even after floodwaters recede, caution is advised. Roads and buildings may be unstable. Falling trees, downed power lines and landslides are a possibility. If your well is flooded, assume the water in your home is contaminated. If you are on a public water supply, contact your purveyor if you have concerns about the safety of your tap water, or call Jefferson County Public Health. To treat drinking water that is potentially contaminated with viruses or bacteria, boiling or purifying with bleach are recommended:
• Bring water to a rolling boil for one minute, OR;
• Add ¼ teaspoon chlorine bleach per gallon of clear water. Filter cloudy water before adding bleach.
More information about treating drinking water for emergency use is available at:
Flood safety information is at:

The National Weather Service reports that more than 4 inches of rain fell in Quilcene on December 10, in addition to several inches received before and after. Conditions may change rapidly and information will be updated through additional press releases as needed.

For more information, contact Jefferson County Public Health, Water Quality at (360) 385-9444. After business hours, please call (360) 385-9400 and select option 3. This will direct you to a regional answering service agent who will connect you with the appropriate Jefferson County Public Health staff.
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Always working for a safer and healthier community