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Northwest NEWS

June 7, 1999

Local News

Water District offers free survival water

by Marshall Haley, staff reporter

   WOODINVILLE--The Woodinville Water District is enclosing coupons for free 1.6-gallon (6-liter) boxes of water with customers' June water bills.

   The water is protected from bacterial contamination for five years by the Mylar bag inside the box. The package and its spigot are similar to those used in boxes of wine.

   Water District gereral manager Bob Bandarra said tap water put in plastic bottles is undrinkable after six months, due to bacterial growth.

   "We bought 25,000 of these boxes, 10,000 to local schools," said Bandarra. "In an emergency, each person should have one and one-half gallons of water a day set aside for drinking and cooking needs. The packaging makes it easy to store 12 boxes or more in a home. They also don't crack, as plastic bottles can."

   People should plan for interrupted service for up to three days, so 12 boxes for a family of four should fulfill that need, he said. The district sent water to the schools because they are often used for emergency shelters.

   The boxes have an educational tool on the back, telling people how to store and purify water, and where to access water in emergencies.