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2 schools' water cut off after bacteria found


Water supplies to two Harford County schools were ordered shut off by county officials yesterday after samples taken from water fixtures tested positive for higher-than-acceptable levels of Legionella bacteria.

County Executive James M. Harkins imposed the water shutdown at Joppatowne High School and Magnolia Middle School until their on-site water systems have been "super-chlorinated" and test negative for the bacteria.

The super-chlorination procedure is scheduled to take place today.

Harkins said the shutdown will ensure the safety of the county's water system because the schools do not have a back-flow prevention system that would keep possibly contaminated water from flowing into county water supplies. He also ordered immediate Legionella testing of the county's water system "to be on the safe side."

County officials learned of the higher levels Monday after samples collected during routine testing from a showerhead at Joppatowne High and a faucet at Magnolia Middle were analyzed.

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