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Some bottled water pulled from schools after 'musty' odor, taste complaints

By From staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Some bottled water delivered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency has been pulled from three local schools, where people complained the water had a 'musty' odor.

The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and Kanawha County School officials say they are working to address bottled water issues at Sharon Dawes Elementary, John Adams Middle School and Andrew Jackson Middle School.

Dr. Rahul Gupta, Kanawha County's health officer, immediately ordered a complete embargo of a specific lot of FEMA bottled water being used at those schools.

According to an email from Lawrence Messina, communications director for the state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, health department 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, Messina said in the email.

"A strong odor or bad taste does not necessarily indicate the water is a health hazard," Gupta said. Still, testing is being performed as a standard procedure.

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

Until testing can be completed by the 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 Schools warehouse have been taken out of circulation.   

Messina said the school district has a sufficient bottled water supply from other companies.     Test results on the Ice Mountain bottled water will be made public as soon as they are available.  


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