E. coli scare confirmed in San Tan Valley

SAN TAN VALLEY, AZ - UPDATE: Read a response from Johnson Utilities

Residents in the San Tan Valley are telling ABC15 there is an E. coli scare for homes and businesses in that area.

District officials are asking parents to send bottled water with their kids to school Wednesday.

The schools affected are: Circle Cross Ranch, Copper Basin, Magma Ranch, Poston Butte, Skyline Ranch and Walker Butte.

Concerned residents are scrambling to buy water at local grocery stores. Several stores including Fry's and Walmart were running low on bottled water late Tuesday night.

The Trejo family said their Little League game was canceled because of the scare. Officials didn't want the kids to drink out of the water fountains.

The Florence Unified School District sent the following email to parents Tuesday night:

After receiving notice that E. coli bacteria had been found in samples of water in the San Tan Valley area, our staff took immediate precautionary measures to protect students and athletic teams who were still practicing or playing at the schools.

We will have school for a half day as planned tomorrow (Wednesday) but we will be prepared with bottled water, hand washing stations and hand sanitizer in order to protect students and staff from potential contamination. If you are also able to send bottled water to school with your child tomorrow, we would appreciate the assistance.

Johnson Utilities has clarified this evening that of the 75 follow-up samples collected, only one tested positive, and that was for total coliform bacteria, rather than E. coli. While total coliform is not as serious as E. coli, it can still cause gastrointestinal discomfort and, as always, we prefer to err on the side of caution whenever any doubt exists.

We are in direct communication with Johnson Utilities and they will inform us as they receive the results of additional testing.

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