Water in local school district tests positive for Legionella

Water in local school district tests positive for Legionella

BUTLER CO., Pa. — Water in a local school district tested positive for Legionella, officials announced Wednesday.

The South Butler County School District conducted annual testing of water on its campuses last week, and there were multiple results that weren’t ideal. In a letter to parents, district officials said five of the 27 water fountains tested for lead had levels above acceptable limits.

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None of those fountains have been in use due to COVID-19 precautions, and they will be flushed before retesting once back in operation.

The other red flag came from Legionella testing. Water in the hot water tanks across the district’s four schools was tested for the bacteria that can cause a serious type of pneumonia, and the results indicate an issue at both South Butler Primary and South Butler Intermediate School.

There was one water sample at Knoch High School that tested positive for Legionella as well.

Most of the results were under the level that would prompt OSHA to take action (10 CFU/ml), and officials said it’s likely those “buildings sitting empty for these months due to COVID have allowed this to develop" -- and that none of the district’s kitchens use hot water for cooking.

No one in the district has reported any related illness, according to the release.

You can read the full release HERE and the inspection report here.

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