Airway Heights businesses adjust to water crisis


(PHOTO AND STORY: KHQ.COM)

The city of Airway Heights is still flushing out contaminated water out of their system. The city says they’ll be done with that process Monday morning, and then they’ll be able to send a sample for testing.

The contamination likely came from two chemicals found in a firefighting foam that Fairchild Air Force base used to use.

Residents and businesses have been adjusting to their new normal.

Kristen Otoupalik is the owner of On Alert Coffee. She says she’s had to rearrange how the stand operates because they’re using bottled water.

“Takes longer, slows the process down, it puts a lot of wear and tear on our machine that we don’t want to do, but people want coffee,” Otoupalik says.

They also have to buy 220 pounds of ice a day because they can’t use their icemaker anymore.

“It’s a huge, huge cost for us right now,” she says.

She’s not the only one affected. Some stores were closed temporarily. The Airway Heights Correctional Facility issued a voluntary recall of all the food they’ve produced. The folks who live in the city have been picking up bottled water day after day.

Though it has been touch, Kristen says she’s seen the community come together to support one another. 

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