People get some answers at Mabton town meeting - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

People get some answers at Mabton town meeting

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MABTON, WA - The people of Mabton crowded the Artz-Fox Elementary School in hopes of getting some answers today about the condition of their drinking water. Earlier this week that E. coli was detected in the water supply and tonight mayor Mario Martinez spoke to the people.

People in the town of Mabton have been drinking bottled water and boiling their water since Tuesday, when it was announced that E. coli was found present at the Artz-Fox Elementary School. 

The mayor states that E. coli was first detected last week in the teachers lobby at the elementary school, when a test was conducted. Officials said they had to run a second test in order to confirm the results. A second test was done this week and came back positive on Tuesday and that is when the people of Mabton were notified. Four other tests were also done last week at different areas of the town and all of them tested negative for E. coli. 

At the town meeting people expressed their angers, and frustrations and the question that kept coming up over and over was, why were we not notified sooner? 

A little girl who attended the meeting expressed to the mayor that she was concerned the water was getting her little sister sick. 

"I am afraid she will drink something she is not supposed to," said the girl. "She has been drinking water from the tap this whole week. She has been coughing a lot and I am afraid she might get sick, and I want to know how can we fix it."

At the meeting Martinez addressed communication issues and along with the help of the Office of Emergency Management they gave the people recommendations on how they could stay up-to-date on information.

The mayor said that two more tests were done at the elementary school yesterday at different locations and the tests came back negative, in addition five tests were also done yesterday at different locations throughout the town and five more will be done tomorrow. If all results come back negative Martinez says that the boil advisory will be lifted from the town and the water will be considered safe to drink. 

The mayor said that they will have cases of bottled water available to the public until the water is considered safe again. Tomorrow the Mabton food bank will also be handing out bottled water to the community.  

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