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Cleveland says Hopkins Airport drinking water is safe

January 4, 2019

Cleveland says Hopkins Airport drinking water is safe

CLEVELAND – Cleveland Hopkins Airport’s drinking water was given a clean bill of health Friday, according to the City of Cleveland

Frontier Airlines notified the city on Tuesday that six passengers on a flight from Cleveland to Tampa reported an illness, according to a press release.

The city said as part of its investigation, the Cleveland Department of Public Health, Cleveland Water and airport staff conducted a series of water quality tests outside and inside the airport Wednesday. “These tests indicate the water (that) Cleveland Water delivers to the airport and the water distributed from the water fountains sampled inside the airport is safe to drink,″ the release said.

Results show that the airport’s drinking fountains and water supply met or exceeded the standards set for drinking water, the press release said, and did not contain bacteria or harmful metal levels. The analysis was performed by an independent Ohio EPA-certified laboratory.

The Cleveland Division of Water has also performed testing on the external water source in the immediate area of the airport and found no abnormalities. The Cleveland Department of Public Health, Cleveland Water and Cleveland Hopkins International Airport staff continue to work collaboratively to investigate all potential causes, including passenger activities before arriving at the airport, the statement said.

A January 2 Plain Dealer story noted that a Case Western Reserve University scholar doubted that the illness came from a water-borne contaminant

Christopher L. King, professor of international health, medicine and pathology at CWRU School of Medicine and a specialist in infectious diseases, said determining the cause of the illnesses is difficult without more details, but he doubts it came from the water.

“It sounds like acute food poisoning,” he said. “Perhaps they all ate from the same vendor, or perhaps it was something that was served to them on board the flight. Bacteria on food creates a toxin that can cause stomach distress. Water is less likely a place for bacteria to grow.”

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