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‘High levels’ of iron, copper in water found at Seminole Middle cafeteria

By Colleen Wright
Published: December 7, 2017
Water tests received Thursday found "high levels" of copper and iron in the cafeteria's water supply at Seminole Middle.

Officials at Seminole Middle on Thursday were notified of "high levels of iron and copper," in the school cafeteria's water supply.

In an email to parents, Principal Wendy Bryan said the campus' water fountains and bathrooms are not impacted. As an added precaution, she said bottled water will be provided to students and staff and hot lunches will be brought in from the district's food services team.

Pinellas County school district spokeswoman Lisa Wolf said the school's cafeteria manager had noticed the water was discolored. The water was tested Nov. 28 and the school received the results Thursday.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, high levels of copper can cause harmful effects such as irritation of the nose, mouth and eyes, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea and even death.  Wolf said the school has not received any complaints of illness from students or staff.

Wolf said the district's facilities department is trying to determine the source of the contamination. She added that the school's water supply is tested annually. Results were clear in May 2016 and April 2017.