According to a news release issued by the West Virginia Department of Education, the testing on bottled water that was given to Kanawha County Schools came back with negative levels of coliform, which would indicate bacteria.
The news release says the water samples were sent to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources following an investigation by the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.
According to a statement issued by the West Virginia DHHR Cabinet Secretary Karen L. Bowling: "The results were negative, indicating that the water does not contain any harmful bacteria. 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. Further, it is believed that the odor is related to where the water bottles were stored prior to being donated to West Virginia's schools."
According to the news release, the following schools have removed Ice Mountain bottled water from their circulation:
Andrews Heights Elementary School
Nitro High School
Carver Career Center
John Adams Middle School
Kanawha City Elementary
Andrew Jackson Middle School
Sharon Dawes Elementary
McKinley Middle School
George C. Weimer Elementary
Dupont Middle School
Sissonville High School
According to the news release, other lots of Ice Mountain water that were housed in the Kanawha County Schools Warehouse have also been taken out of circulation.
Even though test results came back negative, Kanawha County Schools do not plan on using this particular bottled water.
Health Officer for Kanawha-Putnam counties, Dr. Rahul Gupta, announced today that he has ordered an embargo on water delivered by FEMA and being used by Kanawha County Schools.
The embargo will stay in place until the water can be tested by the West Virginia Dept. of Health and Human Resources.
On Feb. 10, multiple schools in Kanawha County complained about bottled water with a "musty odor," according to a release from the Kanawha-Charleston Health Dept.
Upon investigating the complaints, it was found that a strong odor was present. Problems with the taste of the water were also confirmed.
Gupta said, "A strong odor or bad taste does not necessarily indicate the water is a health hazard."
According to Gupta, some of the water was already delivered to area schools while the rest remains at the Board of Education warehouse. School officials have been notified to not use that particular set of water. It is believed the issue is limited to Ice Mountain brand water.
Schools affected by the embargo include: Andrew Jackson Middle School, John Adams Middle School and Sharon Dawes Elementary School. Kanawha County School officials say they have supplies of water from other companies that should be sufficient.
Health officials aren't sure if any of the water was delivered to the public.