Injured, or dead animals and birds may be reported to EH&S at (206)-543-7209 or (206)-543-9510.
To learn more about West Nile Virus, please visit our West Nile Virus Information web page.
Environmental Health & Safety and Facilities Services have partnered in carrying out the UW Domestic Water Sampling Plan to assure the drinking water quality at the University of Washington meets all state and federal standards.
State lab results have been received for many of the water samples taken from campus buildings. Buildings were prioritized for testing based on vulnerabilities of the populations which use them. Child care centers and family housing were sampled first; general use buildings are now being sampled according to a systematic plan.
The first sampling phase has been organized to identify locations with lead content exceeding the EPA standard. The number of water samples taken in a building depends on its size. This first phase focuses on refrigerated drinking fountains because some have been discovered to be lead sources; kitchenette sinks are being tested too.
Initial samples taken were defined as "standing" samples, which means the water was allowed to stand in the pipes 6-18 hours. This standing time allows any lead present in water pipes or fixtures to appear in the lab analysis.
The first phase of this campus water survey is completed. There will be on-going water testing to monitor lead content in the drinking water at UW.
Insects, rodents, and other life forms constantly try to make their homes on and in University buildings.
If you have a pest concern, we suggest that you attempt to characterize it as either simple, where the pest carries
no disease and does not attack, or urgent, where a pest might carry disease, bite, or sting. An example of the former
would be silverfish in an office; the latter could include a swarm of honeybees near a sidewalk, a yellow jacket nest
in a window frame, or a rat that has been discovered running around in an office.
For service with simple pest problems, you can submit the Pest Sighting Report. Complete the form and click "Send Form."
Be sure to report as many significant details about the observation
as you can, especially the pest's exact location, activities, etc. Service will be provided the next scheduled
service day or you will be called to arrange a suitable time.
Report urgent pest problems to the University Sanitarian's office at (206)-543-7209 or (206)-543-9510.
Your concern will be evaluated, prioritized, and service arranged.
The UW employs a pest control contractor who serves the main campus daily. The contractor is
available occasionally at other times for emergency situations. Service will be provided the same day if possible or the following day after you advised us of your problem.
If you fail to receive service, have concerns with what was provided or need follow-up, call 206.543.7209 for assistance.
Click on Bedbugs and Their Control for information regarding this pest.
The UW has two swimming pools and two therapy spas. The larger pool is at the Intramural Activities (IMA) building and holds 260,000 gallons. The intercollegiate competition pool is in the Hec Edmundson Pavilion and also is used for recreational swimming; it holds 180,000 gallons. The spas, one hot and one cold, provide aqua therapy to injured athletes.
Both pools are monitored constantly by automated sensor units which test pH, free chlorine, hardness, alkalinity, and temperature, values of which can be read out by the operator from any computer, whether elsewhere on campus, or even at home. Lifeguards and operators also test the waters several times daily to verify sensors' reported data. Water is tested for bacteria monthly. The university's pool operators who control the pools' mechanical systems are certified by a national organization. Approximately every three years the pools are totally emptied to allow maintenance, e.g., changing the water and underwater lights, overhauling equipment, and re-grouting tiles.
What is Norovirus?
- This is the scientific term for a family of viruses. All cause the same illness, which may be called:
- Stomach flu
- Winter vomiting syndrome
- Cruise ship syndrome
- Several other names
- Norovirus" was named after Norwalk, Ohio, the location of the first outbreak in the 1950s, where this virus was conclusively proven to be the cause.
Symptoms and duration
- The dominant symptoms are nausea and vomiting. Some people get diarrhea and, sometimes, fever
- Symptoms develop from 24 to 48 hours after exposure
- Stomach flu is a short illness: about 12 hours of nausea and vomiting plus another 12 hours of feeling lousy
- Victims feel better within hours after vomiting stops
- Some people may need up to a week to recover completely
- Norovirus is rarely fatal but the elderly, immuno-compromised and the very young are at high risk due to dehydration
How Norovirus is spread
- Virus particles are abundant in feces and vomit
- It takes only a very few virus particles to cause sickness
- Spread is mostly by food or water contaminated by soiled hands
- The virus spreads easily on toys, other objects, doorknobs or handshakes
- Victims are contagious for 48 hours after symptoms stop
- The virus may be airborne in restrooms or where people are vomiting
- Approximately 70% of people are susceptible to Norovirus
- Norovirus infection often occurs in explosive outbreaks or seasonal waves. Hence the name "winter vomiting syndrome"
- Outbreaks are often large, numbering in the hundreds
- Outbreaks often occur in close groups of people: ships, lodges, schools, institutions, dormitories
- Food worker activities:
- Allow NO bare hand contact with foods! Use gloves and utensils to manipulate ready-to-eat foods
- Exclude from food preparation people who are sick or have recently been sick until 72 hours after their symptoms have stopped
- Rigorously enforce hand washing
- After using the toilet or changing diapers
- Before eating food by hand
- Reduce exposure to vomit
- Avoid restrooms where people have been vomiting
- Clean up vomit very carefully and disinfect the soiled area with a 10% bleach and water solution
- Provide the best air circulation possible to dilute airborne droplets
If you notice water coming out of your drinking fountain or sink
with an off-taste, unusual color, or odor, call the University Sanitarian at (206)-543-7209 or
(206)-543-9510 for an assessment of the situation. Being able to
describe the problem well is a great help, as the more accurately a problem
can be described, the faster a solution can be achieved. Most often,
campus water "problems" are maintenance issues without health
consequences. They are generally due to rust particles or sediment from pipes produced by old
piping or heavy water use which stirs up sediment. If you can collect a sample
in a clean glass container, this will help define the problem.