An outdoor concert at the Northern Quest Resort and Casino, owned and operated by the Kalispel Tribe in Airway Heights, Washington. Photo: Northern Quest Resort and Casino
Public Relations

Kalispel Tribe using bottled water at casino due to contamination

The Kalispel Tribe is relying on bottled water at its casino after contamination was discovered in the local water system.

Guests at the Northern Quest Resort and Casino are being provided with bottled water and staff are using bottled water for cooking and other activities. The tribe is also undertaking an independent test of the water quality at the facility in Airway Heights, Washington.

"Bottled water is available to all guests and team members while the ban is in place. All restaurant venues are open their regular hours for food service, but will have limited menu options available," the facility said in a press release. "We have discarded any foods that may have been washed with tap water and will ensure that all foods available have only been washed with bottled water."

The city and the Fairchild Air Force Base on Tuesday announced a ban on drinking or cooking with water after high levels of Perfluorooctanesulfonic and Perfluorooctanoic acids were found in two wells. The contaminants are believed to have come from the Air Force facility.

Ingesting the contaminants in water can lead to adverse health effects, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Bathing, laundry and doing dishes are considered safe, according to a joint press release from the city and Fairchild.

The ban applies to portions of Airway Heights to the west of Hayford Road. Northern Quest is located on Hayford, as are other Kalispel businesses, including a gas station and convenience store.

The Spokane Tribe is also affected by the ban. The tribe is building a casino in Airway Heights at a site adjacent to Fairchild. The tribe also operates a gas station there.

Read More on the Story:
Northern Quest working to independently test water quality (KREM 5/17)
Residents in Airway Heights feeling water constraints after chemical contamination from Fairchild Air Force Base (The Spokesman Review 5/17)
Airway Heights residents warned not to drink tap water amid chemical contamination findings from Fairchild AFB (The Spokesman Review 5/17)