The health department received a report this morning of a diesel spill in Agate Bay in Lake Whatcom caused by a crane that fell into the lake near a private residence. The crane operator was able to contain and absorb the spill immediately and estimates less than 5 gallons of diesel fuel may have been released.
WCHD staff are on-site, and a Department of Ecology response team is en route to conduct an assessment of the spill.
Households in the 2000 – 2700 blocks of North Shore Drive should consider using bottled water for drinking, bathing, oral hygiene, food preparation or cleaning until a final assessment from the Department of Ecology is available. Most of the homes in this area draw water for household use directly from the lake and are at risk from any contaminants present in lake water. Water from Lake Whatcom and shallow wells can contain disease-causing viruses and bacteria at any time. The Whatcom County Health Department strongly recommends that anyone withdrawing water from Lake Whatcom through a private system treat their water at all times. Minimum treatment should include disinfection to kill bacteria and viruses.
Households who receive water from the City of Bellingham or Water District 10 are not at risk.
We will provide more information when it is available.
For questions about household water drawn directly from the lake, contact Laurette Rasmussen, WCHD Environmental Health Specialist at (360) 778-6041 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Melissa Morin, WCHD Communications Specialist
email@example.com; (360) 778-6022