Chisholm Public Schools distributing bottled water after bacteria found in well

Friday, September 3rd 2004, 6:07 am
By: News On 6

ENID, Okla. (AP) -- Chisholm Public Schools officials had to install a chlorinator after E. coli bacteria was found in well water at the elementary school, officials said.

Superintendent Gary Smith said Thursday the bacteria was found last week during a routine check of the school's well water.

The state Department of Environmental Quality issued a boil order and a change in the way water flows into the school.

School officials, with the help of the DEQ, on Thursday installed a chlorinator that will eliminate the problem.

The presence of E. coli, a specific form of coliform bacteria, means that if it can survive, other types of dangerous bacteria also can make it, officials said.

"It doesn't mean bacteria is automatically there, but it could be," said DEQ spokeswoman Judy Duncan.

Coliforms are indicator bacteria, Duncan said. Some are found in the bloodstream of warm-blooded animals.

She said there is no safe level of coliform bacteria.

After the problem is corrected, DEQ requires two additional tests to make sure the system is safe before the boil order is rescinded. Testing for safety probably will be completed by next week, Duncan said.

The school will be required to chlorinate the well all the time.

"We hate it. We will deal with (it) and go on," Smith said.