Water System Update – May 24, 2023

Hello everyone –

First off – not a lot of change in the past two weeks in terms of test results; now that things have stayed drier, we have continued to have clean test results. The boil water advisory is still in effect, however, per the DOH.

Second, and more importantly, an update on our remediation efforts:

Two representatives from the DOH were up last Wednesday for a site visit to the storage tanks and the spring boxes at the source. This visit has been planned since we had our first unsatisfactory test result – not due to any recent changes. On the whole, DOH has been very complimentary of our handling of the situation so far, but the visit did result in recommendations that were unexpected.

The DOH recommended we redesign and replace the spring boxes at the source and also implement a plan for water treatment. This would mean installation of either a UV or chemical/chlorine treatment system. They had concerns that our system, as designed nearly 50 years ago, would not be approved under today’s standards. They also felt that our current plan for remediation work would be insufficient to solve the issue long-term. For these reasons, we elected to put the originally-planned work at the source on hold.

The Board has formed a task force to respond immediately. We are working with our water operator and the Department of Health, and have reached out to contractors to identify water system engineers who might review DOH’s recommendations, review the current system, and suggest solutions. The board’s task force will meet weekly to advance this work.

Once preliminary information is collected, we will call a special meeting of the Association. This meeting will be scheduled as soon as we can confirm that we’ll have at least one engineering firm’s review of the system. This will give all of you the chance to hear about the challenges, proposed remedies, and costs, and hear the Board’s recommendations for next steps. Whatever course of action we take, it is extremely likely the membership will need to approve.

I realize this is not the news we were hoping for, but the health of the system and of our community is the top priority. Additionally, it is important that we solve the current water challenges for the long term. This infrastructure is the most important asset of our community, and we treating this with the highest care.

Please be on the lookout for more information soon.

Water Update for Wednesday 5/10

Hello everyone! We’re back to a bit of better news these past two weeks – The most recent sampling results were submitted. All 9 of these results are clean, as were the 8 testing locations last week. The main thing that has changed between this round of 9 samples and the previous round of 8 samples on 4/28 (that all had trace coliform hits) is that the weather had improved and the area around the spring boxes had begun to dry out. This further supports our assessment that the bacteriological hits are most likely coming from surface water contaminating the spring boxes near the spring source.

That said, the go-forward plan is still the same. The association and its contractors are still waiting for things to dry up enough to get started on the spring box maintenance project. We’re super hopeful that the upcoming stretch of good weather will finally allow the remediation work to be competed.

Water Update – Friday 4/28/2023

Hello, everyone –

Unfortunately not the news I was hoping to be able to share today – after several weeks of clean test results, the results which just came back from the lab showed the presence of coliform again (negative for E Coli, however, which is good). The working theory is still re-sealing of the spring boxes up at the source, but as the road to the source is still soggy, (and therefore the contractor cannot get the heavy equipment up there yet) that work has not yet been completed. I’ll be connecting again later today with our water operator for an update or any estimates they may be able to provide, but at this point, unfortunately, we are not able to recommend lifting the boil-water advisory.

Thank you, again, for your continued patience.

Water Update – Wednesday 4/5/2023

Hi, everyone – a brief update (most will, I hope, be brief from here on out!). Per Health Department recommendations, we continue to test weekly at this time, and those results continue to come back clean. We hope to get the final mitigation work completed week after next. At that point, and again assuming we continue to have good test results, we’ll be able to lift the boil water guidance, and them move to monthly testing for the ensuing three months. We continue to appreciate your patience, and I’ll update again as soon as I have more information to share. In the meantime – and because it’s mostly a wait-and-see situation for now, please assume that “no news is good news.”

Water Update for Tuesday, March 21

Hello, everyone – The cleaning and sanitization were completed this weekend. The system was flushed yesterday (thank you, Jim Klessig!), and investigative samples were taken in 8 locations around the system – 3 up at the tanks/spring, and 5 throughout the rest of the community. We will have the results of those tests back tomorrow (Wednesday). If all of those come back clean, we’ll submit additional samples (called “compliance” samples) tomorrow. These compliance sample results would be reported to the DOH (hence the name – they validate to the DOH that our system is in compliance).

Also, I know that a few folks have asked about sources of the contamination, as well as what is being done to ensure we don’t have the issue recur. I have not yet responded to those inquiries because 1) things have been relatively speculative as we’ve gone along, and I didn’t want to provide information/theories which might later be disproven, and 2) because it’s challenging to respond to each inquiry individually as well as try to keep the community informed. Rest assured that the board will provide a written summary of the timeline, steps taken to determine the source and remediate, as well as additional work which will be done to ensure the issue does not happen again.

I’ll update again tomorrow once we have the investigative sample results, and assuming things go to plan, again on Thursday after compliance test results come back as well.

Water Update – Saturday, March 18

Hi, everyone – confirming that the tank cleaning was completed yesterday (Friday) and that the subsequent – and hopefully last – sanitization was applied today. You may notice a slight chlorine smell in water as you run it, but the levels are not harmful. That said, you may wish to run your water a bit if it’s at all bothersome. We’ll test again, and will let you all know the results as soon as we have them. Thank you!

Water System Update for Wed 3/15

Hello again – apologies for the lack of an update – unfortunately it’s been wait-and-see with the weather. We’re finally confirmed for the tank cleaning on Friday. Once that’s complete, we’ll have (hopefully!) one more round of testing to ensure things are at long last clean once again.


Water System Update for Wednesday 3/8

Hello, all – this will be a relatively short one – Unfortunately, the snow has not melted as quickly as we’d hoped so the tank cleaning has still not happened. Our next estimate is this Friday, or possibly as late as Monday, weather-dependent. Again, I want to assure everyone that our water team and contractors are working as quickly as they are able. I know it is frustrating to still be under the boil-water notice, but I am hopeful we are nearing its end. We continue to appreciate your patience.

2022 Annual General Meeting

The 2022 Annual General Meeting (AGM) is set for an in-person meeting at the East Whatcom Regional Resource Center on Saturday, October 22nd, 2022 at 10:00 AM PDT.

AGM information and proxy forms, which have been mailed to members, must be returned by post or email by October 21, 2021. Failure to secure a minimum of 50 proxies or in-person member attendees will cost the Association considerable expense to hold a second meeting, so please return your proxy or plan to attend on October 22nd.

The following items of business are presented:

  1. Ratification of the 2022-2023 Budget

Meeting materials:

AGM Documents, including Annual Report, Financial Statements, and the 2022-2023 Budget are password protected. The password is listed on the paper copy of the meeting notice mailed to each member. If you have misplaced your notice, please email info@glaciersprings.org with your name and Glacier Springs address, and we will re-send you the password.