City of Kirkland and regional partners are asking community members to voluntarily use less water. Help by reducing outdoor watering, taking shorter showers, and turning off water when brushing teeth or shaving.
UPDATE 8/5/21 2:32 PM
The boil water advisory has been lifted.
The City of Kirkland worked with the Department of Health to lift the boil water advisory that has been in place since approximately 4:30 p.m. on August 3, 2021 for neighborhoods north of NE 85th St., south of NE 124th St., and west of I-405. Water samples have been tested and showed no indication of contamination. Please read the full news release
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Why weren't people alerted by text or phone? There is no simple answer for full or partial community text and phone notifications. It is a complex topic that involves federal law, local policies, privacy issues, and consent, to name a few of the complications. The emergency alert system and wireless emergency alerts, often referred to as “reverse 911,” are part of the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS), FEMA's national system for local alerting. It is this national standard criteria that dictates the use of the system and the purposes for which it can be used. The use of reverse 911 has to be approved by alerting authorities, the City of Kirkland is not a designated alerting authority. In a situation where there is an imminent threat, reverse 911 would be used without hesitation. However, Kirkland’s boil water advisory did not completely meet the definition of imminent threat because the advisory was precautionary in nature.
The City of Kirkland is engaging with alerting authorities to identify protocols to handle similar situations in the future. The City is also looking at options for systems that could be purchased in order for Kirkland to have its own capability to send text and/or phone alerts. One main challenge of any system that is not the reverse 911 federal system is that people have to "opt in." Local jurisdictions are generally not allowed to automatically enroll people without their consent.
Kirkland's boil water advisory presented a significant challenge for the City to reach people quickly and comprehensively with important information. The Kirkland City Manager's Office, Fire Chief, and Emergency Manager are prioritizing finding alert options as soon as possible to prevent a similar challenge in the future.
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123 5th Avenue
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