Pennsylvania DEP Expands Recall of Contaminated Bottled Water

Updated 5:41 PM ET July 27, 2000

PITTSBURGH, July 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pa. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today expanded its recall on water bottled by Global Beverage Systems Inc. of Latrobe, Westmoreland County, after it was discovered the company distributed bottles of coliform-contaminated water to several retailers.

Western Pennsylvania residents are urged not to drink Foodland, Shop'N Save and Flavorite brands of spring and distilled water from one-gallon and 2.5-gallon containers bottled by Global Beverage Systems.

"We are continuing our investigation of how coliform got into the bottles and why the company was operating without a permit," said DEP Regional Director Chuck Duritsa. "We have ordered Global Beverage to immediately cease bottling or supplying any drinking water. In the meantime, anyone who has symptoms they feel are related to drinking these brands of bottled water should call the Allegheny County Health Department at (412) 687-ACHD or the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH."

The bottled water, which was supplied to Global by Roaring Spring of Blair County, was found to be contaminated with coliform bacteria, which can cause flu-like symptoms such as dizziness, diarrhea, nausea and cramps.

According to a DEP investigation, samples of the water supplied by Roaring Spring showed the contamination of the water did not come from the water source or the trucks used to haul the water to Global's facility.

So far, DEP has found contaminated water labeled as "Foodland Spring Water" with the lot numbers 1155 and 1141, expiration June 28, 2002, bottled by Global Beverage Systems Inc. of Latrobe, Westmoreland County.

Three one-gallon bottles sampled by the Allegheny County Health Department showed extremely high levels of coliform. The samples were taken after an Allegheny County man reported to the Health Department that he became sick after drinking the water.

No one else has reported illnesses related to drinking the water.

LeNature's brand carbonated water, also bottled by Global, was not affected by the contamination as the product is pasteurized during the bottling process. LeNature's is distributed through Wal-Mart stores.

To learn more about drinking water standards, visit the Pennsylvania website at www.state.pa.us or directly at www.dep.state.pa.us (directLINK "Water Management").

CONTACT: Patrick Shuster, Community Relations Coordinator of the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection, 412-442-4183, or pager, 412-750-0859.