Wright State lifts drinking water warning

A January 2019 photo of the Wright State campus. FILE

Combined ShapeCaption
A January 2019 photo of the Wright State campus. FILE

Tests confirm contamination levels not detectable following maintenance work on punctured pipe.

Wright State University on Tuesday lifted all water warnings after tests confirmed contamination levels in the school’s public water system are not detectable.

The university issued the warning at the end of June after officials detected ethylene glycol in its water. That warning came eight days after the school lifted a previous water warning from the same incident, citing samples that came back negative from the lab for any contamination. The warning was issued when officials noticed ethylene glycol in the water after a contractor punctured a glycol pipe while doing some maintenance work.

That punctured pipe was located and isolated the same day, within hours, officials said. The repair effort led to a glycol contamination and resulted in the water warning. The cross-connection was isolated to Biological Sciences and Health Sciences, but the entire water system was placed under a water warning as a precaution.

With Tuesday’s announcement, water in campus buildings can now be used for all purposes, the university said.

ExploreWright State says toxic substance found in campus water

Ethylene glycol has many uses, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, including as antifreeze in cooling and heating systems, and in hydraulic brake fluids. Ingesting large quantities of ethylene glycol may cause vomiting, drowsiness, coma, respiratory failure, convulsions, metabolic changes, followed by cardiopulmonary effects and later renal damage, the U.S. EPA says.

The school collected 41 samples for testing, and they all had less than the detectable level of ethylene glycol — 5,000 micrograms per liter.

“We appreciate your patience as we awaited the results for samples collected from every building and specific tap locations that were found to show evidence of contamination,” the university’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety said in a statement.

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