Moorhead, Minn. (Valley News Live) 6:00PM UPDATE:
At least 10 children became sick after drinking water out of a fountain at Horizon Middle school in Moorhead. The superintendent tells us she thinks it was caused by water not running through the pipes over winter break.
After flushing the system, test results came back normal.
On Thursday the school began with a two hour late delay, and some families had conversations in the car between kids and parents. "We just heard there was copper in the water,” says Tom Bergin, a Moorhead dad. “Which could cause some illnesses, in the kids, like some problems in their liver, things like that."
Word traveled fast among students about water from the fountains being strange, with funny colors. "They said that the water was kinda gross," says Shannon Hall, another Moorhead dad.
Moorhead Public Service took water samples Thursday morning and blocked off the fountains before kids went inside.
Superintendent Lynn Kovash says the problem is isolated to the water fountain in the gym and the ones located in the new building. As a precaution, water bottles were brought in for the kids.
While a little copper in drinking water is normal, officials continue their investigation into the higher levels that led to some kids getting sick. "I think the school will take care of whatever the issues are.” Says Bergin. “So, I hope so, I would imagine they would."
The superintendent adds that they have someone on staff, who is in charge of safety, and monitors the water routinely. She's also asking parents to let them know if their kids aren't feeling well. The school is working with the state and monitoring the symptoms.
Moorhead Public Service, the electric and water utility for the City of Moorhead, continues to assist Moorhead Public Schools in identifying the source of contamination in the water present in the premise plumbing at Horizon Middle School.
As a precautionary measure, MPS conducted general water quality parameter testing of the water distribution system surrounding Horizon Middle School Wednesday evening, and the results of the testing are consistent with normal distribution water quality.
Further precautionary testing results are expected by Friday morning.
Moorhead Public Service conducted system-wide copper testing of the water distribution system in the summer of 2016, in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Health. The distribution-wide copper results of this 2016 sampling were well within the Environmental Protection Agency's limit of 1300 PPB for copper.