‘Food poisoning’ in Darasamuth blamed on dirty drinking water

PHUKET: An investigation into the “food poisoning” of children at Darasamuth Phuket school two weeks ago was ultimately traced to untreated drinking water.

The explanation came from a public statement released by Dararat Pengpinit, headmaster of Darasamuth Phuket School, yesterday (August 31).

Ms Dararat said “some” students fell ill on August 19, suffering from diarrhea and vomiting.

Samples were taken from food and drinking water available to children at school and sent for laboratory testing.

“It turned out that coliform bacteria were found in the water supplied to nine stations throughout the school,” Ms Dararat said.

“The UV sterilization equipment used for disinfection had been damaged, which resulted in the schools having unsterilized water supplies, causing the water to be contaminated with coliform bacteria,” she explained.

Following the advice and assistance of provincial public health officials. District public health officials, Wichit Municipality and Ban Laem Chan Sub-district Health Promotion Hospital, the situation has been rectified to prevent further incidents, Ms Dararat said.

Water quality will continue to be monitored, she added.

On behalf of the school, Ms. Dararat apologized for the incident.

“The school has taken steps to address this and make improvements in strict accordance with advice from the public health office. The company that took care of the school’s water system came in and replaced the UV sterilizer lamps and inspected the water system in detail.

“Amenities have been added to help improve water quality to standards prescribed by the public health office,” she said.

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