May 15, 2013_AFH "Dear Provider" Letters

May 15, 2013

ALTSA:  AFH #2013-006

Dear Adult Family Home Provider: 

The Department is aware that there is an increased cost to adult family home providers for the replacement of emergency bottled water that is past its expiration date.  In addition, the Department recently learned that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require an expiration date on commercially-bottled water.  The Washington State Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Consumer Services Division has also determined that commercially-bottled water can be used past the expiration date on the label, as long as it is stored out of direct sunlight.  Direct sunlight may cause algae growth as bottled water is not a sterilized product.

Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 388-76-10845 (5) directs adult family home provider to replace commercially-bottled water that has reached its expiration date.  Currently, the Department is under a moratorium for rulemaking.  In the future, when the moratorium is lifted, the Department intends to change this WAC to reflect the direction from the FDA.  In the meantime, the Department will no longer cite adult family home providers if the emergency commercially-bottled drinking water is past its expiration date or if it has no expiration date. 

This clarification only applies to commercially-bottled water; if your emergency water supply is tap water, it must be replaced every six months.

Staff will continue to evaluate quantity, as well as if water is stored properly.

If you have any questions, please contact your local Field Manager.  Thank you for your continued commitment to the health and safety of Washington's adult family home residents.


Joyce Pashley Stockwell, Director 
Residential Care Services