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Shower Heads at OPRF Clean of Legionella Bacteria

Showers have been re-opened; random testing of water sources at OPRF will continue.

No further traces of Legionella bacteria have been found in the shower heads in freshmen boys' and girls' locker rooms at Oak Park and River Forest High School, district officials said Friday.

In a letter sent home to parents and staff on Friday, District 200 Superintendent Steven Isoye said these showers were isolated and closed while they were disinfected and retested. The showers have been reopened for use, he added.

The school will continue to retest water sources throughout the building and follow the standard recommendations for disinfection as needed, Isoye said in his letter.

"As always, we will work in consultation with the Oak Park and Illinois Departments of Health should any health concerns arise. We are confident that these best practices will help us maintain a healthful and safe environment for everyone who comes to our building," he said.

Families were notified recently that a routine water-quality test detected trace amounts of Legionella bacteria in a showerhead in both the freshman boys’ and freshman girls’ locker rooms.

The boys' showers were closed down and the water lines were disinfected and cleaned over the weekend; they were retested Monday, Oct. 29.

The same process was completed in the girls' showers, even though the amount of bacteria was so low that remediation was not recommended, said district spokesman Karin Sullivan.

Here is the complete text of the letter:

Dear OPRF High School Parents/Guardians and Staff,

Recently I notified you that our voluntary, proactive program of water-quality testing throughout the building had detected trace amounts of Legionella bacteria in a shower head in both the freshman boys’ and freshman girls’ locker rooms. These showers were isolated and closed while we disinfected and retested them. We have received the results, which show no further traces of Legionella. These showers have been reopened for use.

We will continue to randomly test water sources throughout the building and follow the standard recommendations for disinfection as needed. This new, voluntary protocol was established six months ago, and is based on Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines and draft standards from the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers. As always, we will work in consultation with the Oak Park and Illinois Departments of Health should any health concerns arise. We are confident that these best practices will help us maintain a healthful and safe environment for everyone who comes to our building.

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