Horizon Middle School Still Waiting to Find What Contaminated The Water

The city says their water is clear, if copper is to blame it came from the schools own pipes

Water at Horizon Middle School in Moorhead was tested after several students fell ill from suspected copper poisoning after drinking from a fountain.

Some of the students were able to return to school this morning.

Moorhead Public Service tested their water system that feeds into the school and found copper levels were normal.

“We’ve never seen an incident like this before, where the premise plumbing of the facility was impacted by suspected copper contamination,” said Water Division Manager with Moorhead Public Services, Kristofer Knutson.

A state agency conducted tests on the school’s water system, but those results aren’t expected back until tomorrow.

The school has flushed their water systems and they’re giving students bottled water.

Until the results come back, the school can’t know for sure that copper is to blame.

“We’re really monitoring all of the absences and any symptoms students might have just to try and figure out what we have going on here,” said Moorhead Public Schools Superintendent Lynne Kovash.

“Although unconfirmed Superintendent Kovash said she believes ongoing construction at Horizon Middle School may have been the cause of the contamination.”

“They were doing something with the plugs in the pipes and they had to jar them so something, some of that lining gets attached. The copper pipes develop over time, a lining and some of that may have just jarred lose is what we’re thinking,” said Kovash.

Although it’s extremely rare, similar contaminations could occur in residential homes.

Knutson said there are some easy ways to identify possible copper contamination.

“The water was pretty brightly colored blue so that’s a strong indicator that something was not quite right,” said Knutson.

Knutson said if you suspect copper contamination in your home, you should call Moorhead Public Service.

We’ll be bring you the results of the state’s water test as soon as they’re released.

Moorhead Public Services said there are no health concerns for the community as a whole.

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