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Officials Say Tests Negative For Bacteria In Schools' Bottled Water

Reported: Feb. 12, 2014 12:15 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 12, 2014 9:15 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Heath Harrison) – The West Virginia Department of Education said Wednesday that testing of bottled water provided to Kanawha County schools showed no signs of bacteria.

Testing was negative for levels of coliform, an indicator for the presence of bacteria, according to a news release from the department

Dr. Rahul Gupta, with the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, had ordered a complete embargo of a specific lot of Ice Mountain FEMA bottled water being used at those particular schools.

Health department sanitarians received complaints that the bottled water being used at those schools had a musty odor. Sanitarians confirmed the strong odor and problem with the taste of the water.

“The results were negative, indicating that the water does not contain any harmful bacteria,” West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Cabinet Secretary Karen Bowling said. “The Bottled Water Program has been in contact with the manufacturer regarding the taste and odor concerns, and samples have been submitted to the company for further testing and investigation."

Despite the negative test results, Kanawha County schools do not plan on using Ice Mountain bottled water.




CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Bethany Simmons) - The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and Kanawha County Schools were working to address bottled water issues Wednesday at three schools.

The affected schools include Sharon Dawes Elementary, John Adams Middle School and Andrew Jackson Middle School, according to a release from Kanawha County Superintendent Ron Duerring.

Dr. Rahul Gupta with the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department ordered a complete embargo of a specific lot of FEMA bottled water being used at those particular schools.

Health department sanitarians received complaints that the bottled water being used at those schools had a musty odor. Sanitarians confirmed the strong odor and problem with the taste of the water.

“A strong odor or bad taste does not necessarily indicate the water is a health hazard,” Gupta said.

Testing is being performed as a standard procedure, he said.

Duerring said the issue is believed to be limited to Ice Mountain brand water delivered to the schools.

Until testing can be completed by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Kanawha County Schools has notified those schools not to use that brand of water. In addition, other lots of Ice Mountain water housed in the Kanawha County Schools warehouse have been taken out of circulation.

Duerring said the school system has a sufficient supply of bottled water from other companies in the warehouse. In addition, test results of the Ice Mountain bottled water will be made to the public as soon as they are available.



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