UPDATE: Questionable Bottled Water Removed from Circulation at 14 Schools

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 2/12/14 @ 6:50 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) – One month after the chemical crisis in Charleston, the latest water investigation isn’t focusing on tap water, but rather on bottled water sent to schools by FEMA.

Three schools in Kanawha County reported an odor of the brand “Ice Mountain.” Those schools include Sharon Dawes Elementary, Andrew Jackson Middle and John Adams Middle.

As of late Wednesday afternoon, the following Kanawha County schools have all removed Ice Mountain bottled water from circulation:

  • Andrews Heights Elementary School
  • Nitro High School
  • Carver Career Center
  • Piedmont Elementary
  • John Adams Middle School
  • Kanawha City Elementary
  • Kenna Elementary
  • Andrew Jackson Middle School
  • Sharon Dawes Elementary
  • Bridgeview Elementary
  • McKinley Middle School
  • George C. Weimer Elementary
  • Dupont Middle School
  • Sissonville High School

Also, other lots of Ice Mountain water housed in the Kanawha County Schools Warehouse have been taken out of circulation.

“The kids describe it as smelling like carrots,” John Moyers, the principal of John Adams Middle School, said. “I really can't describe it. It's just a musty smell.”

At John Adams alone, about 80 cases were embargoed by the Health Department while testing was done.

“That's the beauty of running a school system. You never know what's gonna happen,” Kanawha County Schools Superintendent Ron Duerring said.

More than a month after a massive chemical spill contaminated the water supply for hundreds of thousands of people, schools still aren't using water fountains and now they're questioning what's in bottles, too.

“Some reports came in yesterday that there was a musty smell in the water. That's when it all started,” Duerring said.

Even with the questionable water removed, schools have plenty of other brands of bottled water available for students.

The DHHR has tested the Ice Mountain water. The results show there is no harmful bacteria in it.

They have also sent samples to the manufacturer for further testing.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.

ORIGINAL STORY 2/12/14 @ 12:23 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Kanawha County health and school officials are addressing concerns over bottle water issues at three schools in the county.

According to a press release, the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and Kanawha County Schools are looking into the bottled water at Sharon Dawes Elementary, John Adams Middle School and Andrew Jackson Middle School.

Health Officer Dr. Rahul Gupta ordered a complete embargo of a specific lot of bottled water, distributed by FEMA, being used at those schools.

KCHD sanitarians received complaints that the bottled water had a musty odor. When sanitarians investigated, they confirmed the strong odor as well as a problem with the taste of the water.

The Department of Health and Human Resources took immediate action to tested the bottled water.

They were looking for total coliforms which is an indicator for the presence of bacteria.

The results were negative which means the water does not contain any harmful bacteria.

The Bottle 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.

The issue is believed to be limited to Ice Mountain brand delivered to the schools.

Until testing can be completed by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Kanawha County Schools has notified all schools not use this particular brand of water.

In addition, other lots of Ice Mountain water housed in the Kanawha County School Warehouse have been taken out of circulation.

According to a press release, the schools have a sufficient bottled water supply from other companies.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.

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