Just two weeks after E. coli was discovered in the well water at Windham Center School, forcing the school to close for several days at the beginning of the year, tests have revealed another kind of bacteria in the water.
Windham Supt. Dr. Patricia Garcia and Windham Center School Principal Kathleen Goodwin wrote a letter to parents on Wednesday informing them of more bacteria in the school water.
“We have been conducting tests of the water over the last week and, unfortunately, the most recent test came back positive for coliform bacteria,” the letter says.
Traces of E. coli were identified in the school drinking water late last month, prompting officials to shut off the water, set up hand washing stations and bring in bottled drinking water.
The system was flushed, and further testing showed no E. coli in the water but revealed the presence of another, less harmful type of bacteria.
Windham Center School was closed for several days while the water was treated.
More bacteria has shown up in school water, according to the letter, but the state and local health departments have determined that "it is safe for students to remain in school while the well is being sanitized," the letter says.
The school has once again set up hand washing stations and brought in bottled water. Cafeteria procedures have been altered to avoid using contaminated water in meal preparation, according to the letter.
“Due to the water sanitation treatments that were applied last week, and the precautionary measures that have been put in place, health officials and district administration are confident there is no risk to your student,” the letter says.
Officials are working toward a long-term solution that could include treating well water before it reaches the school storage tank, according to the letter.