Mabton residents angered over E. coli water contamination - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Mabton residents angered over E. coli water contamination

Posted: Updated:

MABTON, WA - When Valerie Diaz, a resident of Mabton comes in contact with the water from her tap, she has to wash her hands with water she has boiled. She started this new routine yesterday after the city of Mabton declared that E. coli was detected in the water supply on Saturday. 

"I mean it sucks that we pay for our water and we cannot use it because we may or may not get sick and I do not want to take that chance with the kids," said Diaz, a wife and mother of two. 

Like many Diaz is upset that she was not notified of the E. coli contamination when it was first detected. 

"There is no excuse of why we were not notified on Saturday," said Diaz. "I mean they have our phone numbers because we pay our water bill there, so they could have easily issued out a city warning."

Diaz along with her husband and other upset members of the community gathered at water well five, to voice their concerns to the mayor. 

"I think it is crap," said Monica Olivares, a resident of Mabton. "I think that once they know they should let people know and if they do not know what is going on than be honest and tell us you do not know."

Mayor Mario Martinez said that at the moment E. coli has only been detected at the Artz-Fox Elementary School. E. coli was detected during one of the two monthly scheduled water tests done in the town. Martinez said that before the city could inform the public they were required to do a second test. 

Two pallets of bottled water were made available to the people of Mabton at city hall. Martinez said the city will have water available as needed. However even with this help community members do not think it is enough.

"I do not think that it is enough, especially for the elderly and for infants, we have daycare's around here," said Diaz. 

Martinez said that people can still use the water to bathe, but people in the town should boil their tap water before they consume it. Diaz and her family will continue to boil water from the tap until it is safe to drink again.

A meeting will be held at Artz-Fox Elementary School tomorrow at six in the evening. Mayor Mario Martinez said he would be there to discus with the public what is happening and what is being done, to resolve the E. coli problem.