Water in Piedmont, Mo. tests positive for E. coli

Piedmont water tests positive for E. Coli
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 7:05 PM CDT
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PIEDMONT, Mo. (KFVS) - Piedmont, Missouri is under a boil order because of E. coli in their water.

City officials say a bird got into the filter system and died.

At Clearwater High School, hallways are empty.

“We had some rumors that it was more than just a typical boil water issue,” said Clearwater R-1 School Superintendent Judd Marquis.

According to him, it was a no-brainer to shut down the school because of the water issue.

Students will be working remotely through Wednesday, September 21.

“Felt like we needed to put our kids first, do what’s safe,” Marquis said.

Chief Water Plant Operator in Piedmont, Denny Durr, said the dead bird, the cause of the water issue, wasn’t in the filter for very long.

“A couple hours, we got it out, and started the process of getting the system flushed,” Durr said.

But even though its time in the filter was limited, it caused problems.

“We got a sample back from DNR that tested positive for E. coli,” Durr said.

A system wide boil water order was issued.

Back to the school system, Marquis said virtual learning isn’t ideal, but the students come first.

“We’re trying to put their safety ahead of everything else, with the AMI we’re still trying to educate our kids, put those educational needs ahead of everything else,” the superintendent said.

Local businesses, specifically restaurants, are also dealing with issues.

Despite the challenge, Marquis said the community is in it together to keep everyone safe.

“The business owners and the support from the community that I’ve received has been positive because we’re putting our kids first,” he said.

The city was quick to take action.

Durr said they immediately began working to flush out contaminated water.

“I raised my chlorine levels up and did a city wide flush of the whole system,” Durr said.

He also said they’ve already gotten negative samples, and are hoping the boil order can be lifted by Wednesday.

Clearwater R-1 is looking forward to having students back in the classroom.

“If we do get the all clear, we’ll be ready to come back by Thursday,” Marquis said.

As far as the city knows, the water issues has not caused anyone to get sick.