Coliform Bacteria Found in Holton Elementary School Water during Routine Testing

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Water fountains at Holton Elementary School have been turned off after routine testing found the presence of coliform bacteria. (Photo credit: MLive file photo)

Article courtesy of Lynn Moore | October 30, 2014 | Michigan Live | Shared as educational material

HOLTON, MI — Drinking water has been turned off at Holton Elementary School after a routine test discovered the presence of coliform bacteria, according to the school district.

Holton Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kenney said a test of water from a custodial closet conducted on Wednesday was positive for the bacteria, and that the drinking water supply was shut off. A second test showed coliform as well, he said.

Coliform is found in plants and soil as well as in human and animal feces. While coliform itself typically doesn’t cause illness, it can indicate the presence of disease-causing organisms.

Bottled water has been made available to students and staff and meals are being prepared with bottled water as well, he said.

The district is served by water wells, and no other buildings have tested positive for coliform, Kennedy said.

“Our kids are safe; it’s not a dangerous situation,” Kennedy said.

The district is consulting with Public Health-Muskegon County, and will follow its advice to chlorinate over the weekend two wells that service the elementary, Kennedy said. Retesting will be conducted next week, he said.

The hope is that the water will be turned back on in a week to 10 days, he said.

Under a reorganization of the district, K-6 elementary students in Holton this year were moved to the former middle school, 6245 Syers Road. Seventh- and eighth-graders were moved to the high school, and the former elementary school is used for administrative, early childhood and alternative education services.

As a result of the water issue, the district moved the Girl Scouts’ Halloween Trunk or Treat event on Saturday, Nov. 1, to the former elementary building. The event will be 6-7 p.m. at the now District Services Building.

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