Total coliform found in water at Creeds Elementary School

Posted at 3:37 PM, Sep 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-20 17:13:16-04

Virginia Beach, Va. – Staff at Creeds Elementary School in Virginia Beach have put precautionary measures in place after the Health Department says total coliform was found in samples of water taken from the school.

Total coliform is a large family of bacteria which includes e.coli.

Dan Horne with the Health Department Office of Drinking Water says water samples are taken every month. He says a sample of tap water taken this morning from the school tested positive for total coliform.

Additional samples were then taken and analyzed. Four samples were taken from the school, and two from the wells.

Of the six samples, they all tested positive for total coliform and four tested positive for E.Coli.

A well company was sent to flush and disinfect the entire system at the school. They say additional samples will then be collected and analyzed.

Horne says they do not know yet the concentration of the bacteria in the water and they cannot tell if it was enough to make any kids sick.

Horne says state regulations require them to test for total coliform and e.coli. He says they will not be testing for fecal coliform because the e.coli testing is more sensitive.

Fecal coliform is also a member of the total coliform family. This test takes about 5-6 days to get the results back. He says the test for e.coli is an indicator that fecal coliform may be present.  They cannot say at this time if fecal coliform is in the water because that specific test was not performed.

The principal of the school, Robin Davenport, sent out an alert informing the public about the issue.

The principal says that staff members at the school and the department of public utilities have been working to resolve the problem for several days.

The school has put precautionary measures in place for now.

They say tap water will not be used for drinking or food preparation.

They say the toilets are still operational and safe to use but hand sanitizer will be used in bathrooms and classrooms.

They’ve turned off the water fountains and students will be given bottled water if they need a drink.

They also say that cafeteria staff will not serve food that requires water during preparation. 

They’ll also thoroughly clean pots, pans and silverware at another location.

NewsChannel 3 will keep you updated as we learn more details about this issue.