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UPDATE: Bottled Water for Drinking and Cooking Ordered for Montville High School, Mayor Weighs In

Manganese discovery means students and staff may not consume water, Schools Superintendent Pamela Aubin told BOE Tuesday.

Update at 8:25 p.m. Wednesday:

Following concerns aired by neighbors of the high school who wondered if they should also use bottled water, Mayor Ronald McDaniel told Montville Patch that the state has said instances of contamination are usually "site specific" so neighbors shouldn’t be concerned. 

"The state Department of Public Health has indicated that these types of situations are site specific so the neighbors should not be affected.  However, as with any drinking water source, people should have it tested regularly to ensure a healthy supply."

 

Original story:

Schools Superintendent Pamela Aubin told the Montville Board of Education that in addition to bottled water for drinking, the district must also provide bottled water for cooking. Aubin said that buying bottled water will impact the budget. 

In a letter to high school staff and families dated Monday Sept. 24, Aubin said she was informed a "small amount of a mineral-like substance" was discovered in the water at the high school. Aubin said she immediately contacted the Uncas Health District and ordered testing of the water. A few weeks later, test results came back and the previously unknown substance was identified as manganese.

Aubin said on Oct. 12 the results showed an “elevated level” of the naturally occurring mineral, but  she added that there are “no enforceable federal drinking water standards,” for manganese. But the Connecticut Department of Public Health does and has established a “action level to provide a margin of safety.”

Aubin explained then that it was her understanding the water was safe for cooking. That has since changed. 

Aubin said she just learned that the district must now use bottled water for preparing and cooking food but not for dish washing.

Aubin said school director of facilities Matthew Bialowas is working with the Uncas Health District, the state health department and the district’s water management company LaFramboise Water Services to correct the contamination issue.

So what's manganese?

This easy to read report from the Connecticut Department of Public Health explains the concerns. Bottom line: At unsafe levels consumed over long periods of time it can adversely affect one's health. 

And this from the EPA, a voluminious report on the effects of manganese. 

Abby Cobb October 17, 2012 at 01:13 PM
Is the water safe in the surrounding neighborhoods? I live right down the road...
Ellyn Santiago October 17, 2012 at 01:32 PM
I'll find out.
Ellyn Santiago October 17, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Here you go, Abby Cobb! Mayor Ronald McDaniel issued the following statement: "The State DPH has indicated that these types of situations are site specific so the neighbors should not be affected. However, as with any drinking water source, people should have it tested regularly to ensure a healthy supply."

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