BESSEMER, Pa. (KDKA) — Officials with Mohawk Schools say classes will be back in session on Friday, after E. coli concerns shut down the Lawrence County school district for three straight days.
The bacteria were found in the well that provides water to the elementary school, and prompted a boil water advisory in the immediate area.
The Mohawk Area School District shuttered again Thursday for a third day with district officials saying the water was unsafe.
“Due to the flash flooding and heavy rains of last week, the well system at the high school complex sustained some damage, and some testing samples came back beyond the allowable DEP thresholds.”
The water was tested for coliform bacteria, including E. coli, which came back positive.
Officials say the elementary school is on a separate water system and passed all tests required by the Department of Environmental Protection.
According to a statement on the district’s website, “The district has completed the mechanical tie-in to the elementary well. Water testing has been completed and is being processed by a certified lab, which will then forward the results to the Department of Environmental Protection for approval to lift the boil water advisory.”
District officials said they were being cautious; only allowing classes to resume when testing protocol was satisfied.
According to the district’s website, school will be back in session Friday, Jan. 20. Also, the boil water advisory was lifted for the area on Thursday afternoon.
In the latest message on their website, the district says:
“This message is to inform you that school will be in session for tomorrow, Friday, January 20h. The district has completed the mechanical tie-in to the elementary well. The elementary school runs on a completely separate water system and has passed all tests as required by the Department of Environmental Protection. Water testing has been completed and has been processed by a certified lab. The Department of Environmental Protection lifted the boil water advisory this afternoon. Official DEP notification is below. Again, school will be in session for Friday, January 20th.”
Just two miles down the road from the Mohawk Jr/Sr High School, the Mohawk Coffee House is welcoming a lot of the students who have unexpected days off.
“I also trust that they’re not going to bring these kids back on campus if it’s not safe for them,” said the café’s Cheri Ponziani.
The district’s website says students will not have to make up the classes they missed on Tuesday and Wednesday. However, Thursday’s missed day will have to be made up.