Kettering schools taking safety measures after Legionella find in water at Fairmont High

Kettering schools taking safety measures after Legionella find in water at Fairmont High
Fairmont High School.

KETTERING — The Kettering City Schools district is implementing several safety measures in response to the discovery of Legionella in Fairmont High School’s water system.

In a Facebook post Friday evening, Superintendent Scott Inskeep said the following steps will be taken prior to reopening district school buildings for the 2020-21 academic year. Inskeep said the district’s plan is to reopen schools in August:

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  • Water systems at all buildings have been thoroughly flushed. That was completed July 10.
  • All faucet aerators across the district are being replaced. These were the source of three out of the four positive test results at Fairmont.
  • Complete water system tests will then be performed at all district school buildings. Solid Blend Water Management Solutions, the same company the district is working with at Fairmont, will be doing the testing and – if needed – any disinfecting at all of the buildings.

The district also is working with Public Health -- Dayton & Montgomery County and the Ohio Department of Health to develop a water safety plan moving forward for Fairmont, Inskeep said.

The same will be performed at all buildings in the district if the tests being conducted at those locations indicate the presence of bacteria in the water systems.

The discovery of Legionella virus at the high school was made after WHIO-TV began investigating water system issues there when a second district employee was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease in June. The condition of the second employee has not been disclosed.

Former sanitation supervisor Keith “Casey” Chaffin died in May 2019. His last shift at Fairmont was less than a month earlier, April 15, Kettering school officials have said.

According to Casey Chaffin’s death certificate, he died from Legionella pneumonia, multi-system organ failure and acute systolic heart failure, a Montgomery County coroner’s spokesperson said this month.

After the second case was discovered, the district hired Solid Blend Water Management Solutions to test the water system at the high school.