Emergency Management

Heavy snowfall brings potential for downed power lines
Posted By on Jan 18th, 2012 at 12:44 PM

As the snowfall begins to subside, Pierce County Emergency Management cautions that downed power lines and trees leaning on power lines may pose a significant danger to people. By taking some simple precautions residents can avoid the dangers of downed power lines and trees.

If residents come across a downed power line they are encouraged to:

  • Stay at least 30 feet in all directions from downed power lines and expect that they are live.
  • Never try to move or touch them.
  • Never walk under downed power lines.
  • Avoid trees and branches in contact with power lines.
  • Never drive over downed power lines.
  • If you must exit your vehicle because of fire or other safety reasons, try to jump completely clear, making sure that you do not touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Land with both feet together and shuffle away in small steps to minimize the path of electric current and avoid electrical shock.

Residents should also be aware that heavy amounts of snow resting on roofs and tree limbs could be potentially dangerous.


Department of Health; Water is safe
Posted By Sheri Badger on Apr 18th, 2007 at 12:36 PM

Department of Health For immediate release: April 18, 2007 (07-051) Contacts: Donn Moyer, Communications Office 360-236-4076 Jeff Smith, Communications Office 360-236-4072 OLYMPIA –

Tests for chemical and other contamination in the Orting water supply have come back negative, showing the tap water is safe to use and to drink. Samples were collected for testing after it was discovered Monday that someone had broken into one of the citys sources.

The state Department of Health joined city and county officials today to announce the water sample test results. The citys water treatment system is working and the distribution system was flushed. All tests from the distribution system are satisfactory.

Tests showed no E. coli or other harmful contaminants in the Orting water distribution system, said Leslie Gates, Department of Health Office of Drinking Water.

Our priority is protecting the health of the people served by this water system, and we believe the City of Orting made a good decision when the situation was discovered.

Gates praised city and county officials for quick, collaborative work. Orting officials notified customers of the break-in at the spring-source Monday and advised them not to drink or use the tap water until further notice.

The Department of Health says the city used appropriate caution and kept its customers informed and safe. Water system security is vital to assuring safe and reliable drinking water, and the state agency takes security breaches like this very seriously. Local law enforcement will continue its criminal investigation of the break-in.


Orting water is safe, press conference at 12:15
Posted By Sheri Badger on Apr 18th, 2007 at 11:49 AM

Tacoma, WA – April 18, 2007 – Tests of the Orting water supply have come back negative and the “do not use” order is now lifted. Citizens can now use and drink water in the City of Orting.

A reverse 9-1-1 call is currently being broadcast to City residents to notify them. A press conference is scheduled for 12:15 at the command center located in the Orting Safeway parking lot. Representatives from the City, law enforcement and the department of health will be available to answer questions.


Orting declares an emergency
Posted By Sheri Badger on Apr 17th, 2007 at 8:34 AM

Released: April 16, 2007 Tacoma 

Water supplies have been established for Orting residents by agencies working in the Pierce County Emergency Operations Center. Residents can obtain bottled drinking water at Ortings Safeway parking lot.

A public water supply from Tacoma has been established at the High Cedars Golf Course parking lot at the corner of highway 162 and 149th St Ct East. The water available at High Cedars is safe drinking water, and does contain chlorine and fluoride. Residents should bring clean plastic containers to carry water in.

For those picking up water from the public source, the recommendation is one gallon of water per day for each household member.

City of Orting Mayor Cheryl Temple declared an emergency after Ortings Public Works Department discovered evidence of tampering at the citys water system at Harmon Springs. It is not known whether water was contaminated.

Law enforcement is investigating and Orting has sent water samples to a state- certified lab for testing. Test results should be back Wednesday. In the meantime, residents are urged not to use water: for drinking, cooking or bathing. The state Department of Health also recommends water from Orting not be used to water livestock, pets, gardens or crops.

The Orting School District has closed schools for tomorrow (Tuesday, April 17). Eating facilities  restaurants, bars and taverns  have been closed by Tacoma- Pierce County Health Department until test results have been returned.

Anyone with a critical health issue who needs water for treatment should contact the Pierce County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) about their needs for safe water. The EOC will coordinate strategies for getting water to those who need it for medical care, such as kidney dialysis. Tests results should be available Wednesday.

Orting will contact residents as soon as it is safe to drink water. Contact: Joby Winans, PIO, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, (253) 405-6822.


Frequently Asked Questions
Posted By Sheri Badger on Apr 17th, 2007 at 8:03 AM

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department Tacoma, WA – April 17, 2007 – Tacoma — Orting Public Works staff found a gate broken and evidence of tampering at their Harmon Springs facility. This provides drinking water to more than 5,000 people in Orting.

Although no evidence exists of contamination, the city and state Department of Health decided to take precautions to prevent harm from drinking or using the water. Customers are advised not to drink the water, and not to use it for cooking or bathing until it has been determined that the water was not contaminated.

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management are working with Orting to notify residents. The health department is also closing food service establishments (restaurants, taverns, etc), to prevent any harm from the possibly contaminated water.

The following lists frequently asked questions and answers from the health department:

  • Question: Which water system has been affected? I live in Tacoma? Is that okay? Answer: Only Harmon Springs water system shows evidence of possible tampering or contamination. Tacoma water seems to be fine.
  • Question: I was in Orting last week. Could I get sick from something? Answer: If the water was contaminated, it happened sometime between Sunday afternoon(April 15) and Monday afternoon (April 16).
  • Question: I drank water in Orting this morning. What symptoms should I look for? Answer: We don’t know if the water was contaminated and if so, with what. If you are sick, contact your medical provider.
  • Question: Can I boil the water and then drink it? Answer: No. Since we don’t know what might have contaminated the water, we don’t know if boiling it will reduce harm or actually increase the potential for harm. Other than flushing, don’t use Orting water until we know whether anything dangerous is in it.
  • Question: When will we know it’s safe? Answer: The earliest will be Wednesday morning (April 18). We will let you know.
  • Question: I’m on dialysis and need water for treatment and care and I live in Orting. What should I do? Answer: Contact the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management and let them know what you need. You can call them at (253) 798-7470.
  • Question: What about pets. Can they drink the water? Answer: At this point, the state Department of Health recommends that pets and livestock NOT be fed water from Orting. Also, vegetables should not be watered with Orting water. Once it has been determined the water is safe, you can water livestock and gardens again.
  • Question: Where can I get water to drink for me and my family right now? Answer: Bottled water is being distributed at the Safeway in Orting. The general rule is one gallon per person for 24 hours. Additional water sources are being developed and will be announced as soon as possible.
  • Question: What about schools? Can my kids go to school tomorrow? Answer: Orting School District has announced that schools will be closed tomorrow in Orting.