CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Kanawha County schools said late Wednesday it would no longer use Ice Mountain bottled water after complaints of smell and taste.

The water has been tested by the DHHR and no bacteria has been found but the school system said it’s collected all of the Ice Mountain bottled water that was being used in 14 schools and replaced it with other bottled water.

Kanawha County schools have been using bottled water since schools reopened following the water emergency.

The bottled water problem surfaced earlier this week when complaints came at Andrew Jackson Middle School, John Adams Middle School and Sharon Dawes Elementary.

Kanawha-Charleston Health Department Director Dr. Rahul Gupta said he embargoed the Ice Mountain water made by Nestle from those three schools and demanded testing.

“We found that there were legitimate concerns about not just the odor but also the taste of that water,” according to Gupta.

The taste has been described as “musty.” Dr. Gupta stressed as soon as he got word about the problem, he took action.

“I ordered a complete embargo of that particular lot of the water.”

All schools in the county have been notified about the embargo in case they have any of that particular water in use. All Ice Mountain Water in the Kanawha County School Warehouse has been taken out of circulation.

The expiration date on the water is April 2014. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, unopened commercially bottled water will keep safe indefinitely, as long as the bottles remain properly sealed and aren’t damaged.

The state DHHR released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying the water has been tested for bacteria and the tests came back negative.

“On February 11, 2014, DHHR took immediate action to test the bottled water at our State Lab for total coliforms, which is an indicator for the presence of bacteria. Those results were negative, indicating that the water does not contain any harmful bacteria. The Bottled Water Program has been in contact with the manufacturer regarding the taste and odor concerns and samples have been submitted to the company for further testing and investigation.”

Dr. Gupta said health department inspectors have tasted the water themselves and say there is definitely something off.

The Kanawha County school system has sufficient bottled water in storage to replace what’s been taken off the shelves.

Even though testing showed no bacteria in the water, Ice Mountain bottled water was removed from the following schools:

Andrews Heights Elementary School

Nitro High School

Carver Career Center

Piedmont Elementary

John Adams Middle School

Kanawha City Elementary

Kenna Elementary

Andrew Jackson Middle School

Sharon Dawes Elementary

Bridgeview Elementary

McKinley Middle School

George C. Weimer Elementary

Dupont Middle School

Sissonville High School


bubble graphic


bubble graphic


  • brenda

    Different brand of water but I just bought a case at a store. Expiraration date was June 2012 and it tasted bad. Cant believe it would last forever. Check your dates people. Iwill from now on.

  • Sad

    Im reading the comments and Im amazed at some. When did we stop being The UNITED STATES of AMERICA? WV is a part of our Union. So are they...our neighbors. Have things gotten so bad that we care more about typos,politics and whether or not someone smokes (it's dumb but it's legal) than what happens to childrens drinking water? As for me i do not live in WV but hope Im smart enough to know todays WV could easily be
    tommorows Minnesota.
    Lastly you turn off your lights tonight remember you too are part of the human race.

    • Cigarman

      What are you posting about?

    • MCruise

      I agree but there are some issues to consider.

      First, one state's policies are not another state's policies. A state like WV is poorly regulated by choice. It is a state that allows companies like Freedom Industries and Patriot Coal to operate without proper oversight and without any means to accept legal and financial responsibility when their negligence results in damages to public resources. And why not? When the crisis hits, the federal government will always step in to socialize the losses. There are no disincentives for West Virginians to do anything differently.

      If you happen to live in one of the progressive states in the nation that does have strong regulations in place to protect the environment and that makes the tough choices for the betterment of its citizens, and you happen to also be a donor state that contributes far more in taxes each year than you ever get back, then the notion of having to bail out the states that fail to do the right things over and over again gets old and has gotten old. West Virginia is a welfare state, meaning that it gets back far more each year than it contributes in taxes. Add to that these bailouts...these socialization of the losses incurred or created by the private sector operating in an unregulated state...and taxpayers in the more responsible states have a right to demand that West Virginia get it's crap together and start doing the right thing or start footing the bill for it's own disasters.

      It's called tough love. It's long overdue.

      • Shadow

        No, it is not Tough Love, it is CA and they are broke and everyone is leaving.

      • Penelope WV Moutaineer and I PAY taxes in WV

        What perfect state do you come from?

      • Damion45

        Isn't closing down the coal companies the real federal regulatory oversight to stop these public health hazards?

        And don't forget to turn the lights off when you leave for a better regulated state...if they haven't gone off already...

  • Dale

    Isn't Nestle actually owned by Freedom Industries?

  • Larry

    This water thing is getting absolutely ridiculous, hasn't anyone ever heard the term PSYCHOSOMATIC!

    • Rich

      There are plenty of reasons to be concerned about the water we've been drinking these days.

      I've heard the term condescending pr+c* too... It may apply to you.

      • Larry

        This is bottled water, the source of which is nowhere near the sewage filled mouth of the Elk River, idiot.

  • william

    Fact - Most bottled water come out of the tap!

  • Colleen

    we bought the ice mountain 2.5 gallon jug from Walmart and noticed it has a funky taste. I thought I was imagining it until I read this article

  • What next now

    Dr Sanjay Gupta is on a roll. If they keep getting him on the radio and tv pretty soon he will be getting a little blue light to put on his car and a gun like Barney's with bullet in it. The he I'll be going out making citzen's arrests and be on good morning America once a week.

  • Misty

    My daughter complained of that right after they went back to school. This was at Hoover & the water was Sam's in the blue lid. She described it as "it smelled like carrots."

  • jay zoom

    this water should of never been put in the schools with an expiration date that soon. probably something they pulled out of the closet that's been there since -------- I give up you tell me.

    • Brian

      I wonder if "of" is a verb in other states as well.


        I wonder if other states have grammarphiles like you troll


          grammarphile- weirdos who correct people on "there" grammar on line to feel superior . See what I did "their" I made up a word and used "they're" wrong to annoy you


            thats what i mean charleston who cares if dude mispelled "of" ..that was my point i just thought i would beat a dead dog

          • Charleston

            Here's one for you: Get a lyfe!

  • dukesinatra

    Oh, wv people care about how much the water is gonna hurt them, they talk about it in between drags off a cigarette!

    • saywhat

      Not sure where you're from dukesinatra, but I'm positive smoking isn't an issue there in your glasshouse.

  • hilljack

    WV did not vote for Obama therefore he doesn't care whether or not we have safe drinking water.

    • Jeff

      WV doesn't care whether or not it has safe drinking water.

    • KathyWolson

      Exactly correct!

  • Sharon D Slater

    excerpt: "A class action lawsuit claims Nestlé Waters sells phony bottled spring water that’s nothing more than regular ol’ tap water."
    excerpt: "...discard the tap water if it develops any other discoloration or has an 'off' odor."

  • Gary Karstens

    Who is looking out for the children? The government?

    • MCruise

      Oh wait, wait, wait, wait. West Virginia is a state that prefers the government and it's regulations stay out of it. That is, of course, until an environmental disaster caused by lack of regulations and a grossly negligent company happens (which is increasing in frequency). Then, the profits remain privatized and the costs of the disasters are passed on to the American taxpayers (not just those in West Virginia). That's called socialism and West Virginia's lack of regulations are an explicit endorsement of this kind of taxpayer bailout socialism.'s the deal. Do you want federal disaster aid for this private company caused environmental disaster? Yes? Then you should be required to put the strictest regulations in the nation in place and require all private polluter corporations in your state to carry the highest insurance policy limits available. By and large, this is other states paying for West Virginia's disaster and it's a disaster created by the private sector, not the federal government. It is the federal government now being asked to rescue them.

      So enough with assigning blame to the wrong party. It belongs with West Virginia and it belongs with the private sector operating in West Virginia.

      • Penelope WV Moutaineer and I PAY taxes in WV

        So people that live in areas where they know hurricanes,earthquakes,wild fires, or tornadoes are going to hit and destroy everything frequently are more deserving of federal aid than people that live in WV. Look, what happened to love thy neighbor? WV may be less regulated but it is a place where people do want to work, earn a living, and use resources so that there may be light. With stricter environmental regulations you must be willing to pay double for your utilities so that everything can be done in a safer way ALL the time. Be realistic and quit being so judgmental and LOVE THY NEIGHBOR.

        • Jason412

          It's a huge stretch to compare a natural disaster to the man made disasters of WV.

          You can't prevent an earthquake. You can prevent a 10,000 gallon chemical spill followed by a 100,000 gallon chemical spill a month later.

      • Paula Stahl

        I am from WV, and I voted for Obama, and I am very vocal about protecting the environment. Just like your state, individual people have their own opinions and votes, and just like your state, the electoral vote determines whether you are a red state or a blue state. Please do not assume that all West Virginians have been in favor of the policies. Also, this issue is happening all over the country. Big Corporations are buying off politicians and changing laws to protect their own investments. It does no one any good for other states to take a "holier than thou" attitude like it will not happen there. It is not a Democrat or Republican is a national problem with Big Companies taking over. Just my humble opinion.

        • WV Common Tater

          I hope you love your Obamacare!

      • WVnative76

        MCruise I totally agree. My state has left big business practically write the laws to suit themselves and their interests and now we're paying the price with environmental pollution and water poisoning while the federal government is picking up the tab. It sickens me that so many here in WV defend the polluters all because they provide a paycheck.

        • MCruise

          Please understand that I would never want to see the individual citizens of West Virginia suffer or go without clean water. I want the best for you. I want your state government to start putting its citizens welfare first and foremost and to stop allowing a dirty industry to hold the entire state hostage. What is the disincentive to Freedom Industries to open up shop under yet another new name, rack up profits whilst getting it's taxpayer subsidies, and destroy the environment and accept absolutely no legal or financial responsibility for said damages? They filed bankruptcy 5 days into the latest disaster. The CEO's assets are protected. No one will go to jail.

          Something has to change and that change has to be demanded and fought for first by the citizens of West Virginia.

          • Cigarman

            So you are from outside of WV but have all the answers for our well being. Great I guess you have your state in top order and now looking out for others. Thanks but no thanks!

  • Alum

    Why people do understand that there are really few if any standards that regulate or pertain to bottled water, unlike public systems.

  • Blugldmn

    Probably left over from Katrina

    And bottled water is not good indefinitely... For the derp at the health dept.