UPDATE; Oct. 12, 3:15 p.m.
The water test results are back and the previously unknown substance found in the water at Montville High School has now been identified as manganese.
According to a letter sent home with students today, Schools superintendent Pamela Aubin said results found 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.”
So, Aubin explained, that while the water is safe for cooking, it is not for drinking and the school will “continue to provide bottled drinking water for students, staff and the community “until further notice.”
In the meantime, the school director of facilities Matthew Bialowas, in trying to “achieve a long term solution,” 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.
Aubin wrote: “The health and safety of students and staff is of utmost concern.”
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.
Patch will keep you posted.
Original Story; Wednesday, Sept. 26:
In a letter to Montville High School staff and families dated Monday Sept. 24, Superintendent of Schools Pamela W. 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. She wrote that the tests were being expedited, but "it may be a few days until we have the results."
"As a precaution, I have directed that the drinking fountains be turned off and bottled water be placed" in the school "until further notice."
She goes on to write that the "safety and health of our students and staff is of upmost concern."
She said she would notify families when she received the test results.
Montville Patch was at the high school today on an unrelated story and did note that the fountains were off and that bottled water was available.