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Free waste disposal, well testing for flood victims

ARLINGTON Area residents impacted by recent flooding can turn to county agencies for some help, since Snohomish County is offering free waste disposal for flood victims, while the Snohomish Health District is providing free bacteriological testing for individual flooded wells.
According to SHD spokesperson Kevin Plemel, water sampling bottles are available at SHD offices in Everett and Lynnwood, and the test results are generally available within two to five business days.
The flooding of individual water supplies can have adverse effects on the quality of their drinking water, Plemel said. To assure that drinking water is safe, the wells where flooding has occurred need to be disinfected and tested, prior to their use.
The Snohomish Health District may be reached by phone at 425-339-5290, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Additional flooding sanitation information is available online at www.snohd.org, or at the SHDs two locations, in Everett at 3020 Rucker Ave. Suite 104, or in Lynnwood at 200th St. SW.
Snohomish County has likewise waived fees for flood-damaged residential waste, through March 13 of next year, at county transfer stations in Arlington, Everett and Mountlake Terrace, as well as at county drop boxes in Oso, Granite Falls, Dubuque Road, Sultan and Gold Bar. The drop boxes have a five-cubic-yard limit on material, while commercial and business waste will continue to be charged their regular disposal fees.
Residents must present special vouchers when presenting water-damaged household goods at either transfer stations or drop boxes, with a separate voucher required for each load they bring in. These vouchers may be obtained in Marysville at the North County Sheriffs Precinct, located on 15100 40th Ave. NE, or in Everett at the Snohomish County Sheriffs Community Information Office, located on the fourth floor of the courthouse on 3000 Rockefeller.
The American Red Cross in Everett, located on 2530 Lombard Ave., will also distribute vouchers to flood victims as needed. The Red Cross Everett phone number is 425-252-4103, while the phone number for the Snohomish County Sheriffs Community Information Office is 425-388-3393, and the phone number for the North County Sheriffs Precinct is 360-659-7609.
Plemel advised those who have suffered substantial flood damage to call their garbage haulers, to inquire about rates on large drop-off containers, since the cost of such containers, as well as that of their transport, is not covered by the vouchers.
Plemel listed the items accepted for disposal as including household furnishings, furniture, spoiled food, carpeting, water-soaked plasterboard and appliances, except for refrigerators and freezers, as well as paint and small quantities of household hazardous waste, the latter of which are being accepted with vouchers at all solid waste facilities. He specified that such hazardous waste must be kept separate from other garbage, just as metal should be kept separate for recycling, and added that customers with large quantities of metal waste, such as carports, should contact local metal recyclers.
Plemel clarified that this free disposal does not extend to demolition or yard debris, wood waste, concrete materials, rock, soil or animal carcasses, especially since large animal carcasses are not accepted at any location at any time.
For more information, you may call the countys Solid Waste Management Division at 425-388-3425, or log onto the countys Web site at www.co.snohomish.wa.us.

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