Elementary school's drinking water tests positive for E. coli - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Elementary school's drinking water tests positive for E. coli

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - Great Northern Elementary School located at 3115 N. Spotted Rd. near Spokane is providing bottled water to students and staff because routine water testing showed  E. coli bacteria in the school's drinking water supply.

The Washington State Dept. of Health says the bottled-water advisory affects only the 52-student elementary school and a caretakers residence.  School district staff and the Dept. of Health will inspect the school's water system today to try to find the contamination source.  The advisory will remain in effect until any needed improvements are made and testing confirms the water is safe to drink.

After receiving the lab results Tuesday, the school district staff immediately shut off drinking fixtures and sent notices home with students to inform parents and guardians of the situation.  the school does not provide food service.

The Health Dept. says although most strains of E. coli are harmless, the presence of the bacteria indicates that fecal contaminants are entering the water system.  If parents see symptoms of gastrointestinal illness in their children, they should consult a health care provider.

"Keeping our students and staff healthy at school is our top priority," said superintendent Glenn Frizzell.  "Our focus now is to resolve this issue and ensure that safe drinking water is provided to our school's students and staff."