Five public schools will be closed in Rathdrum, Idaho, today because school leaders could not meet a citywide boil-water recommendation.
Trace amounts of bacteria were found in the city’s water supply earlier this week, prompting the suggestion from the Panhandle Health District. But Lakeland School Superintendent Bob Jones found out about the problem late Wednesday after receiving a mailed notice from the city of Rathdrum. The notice was dated Monday.
“We didn’t have time to find a way to boil enough water to keep the schools open tomorrow,” Jones said late Wednesday.
About 2,600 students are affected. Closed are Lakeland High School, Lakeland Junior High School, John Brown Elementary School, Betty Kiefer Elementary School and Mountain View Alternative School.
A letter sent to city residents, received by most on Wednesday, explained that test results had uncovered abnormal levels of fecal bacteria in the water.
The city’s letter indicated chlorine was added to the water supply and more recent tests showed the problem may have been resolved. But it also suggested residents boil water for at least one minute to be safe.