• By Kelley Luckstein

Water safe for all uses at Saint Marys Campus in Rochester

May 3, 2018

aerial view above the Saint Marys Hospital CampusThe following are statements that have been distributed to journalists since Mayo began assessing reports about dark-colored water on our Mayo Clinic Hospital — Rochester, Saint Marys Campus on Monday, April 30. The statements are listed in chronological order with the current statement on top. Mayo Clinic has captured video and images of the staff teams involved with testing water and flushing and replacing valves. Downloads are available at the bottom of this post.

If media has any questions, you can direct them to Kelley Luckstein, 507-284-5005, newsbureau@mayo.edu.

7th statement issued late afternoon Thursday, May 3

The entire Saint Marys Campus has been cleared for all water uses, including consumption, hand washing, bathing and showering. Olmsted County confirmed that the water meets the state requirements for potable water.

“Our staff embraced this challenge, and we are grateful to all staff involved, especially clinical staff, food services, logistics, environmental services and facilities,” says Priya Sampathkumar, M.D., chair of Infection Prevention and Control Subcommittee, Mayo Clinic. “We have the best people at Mayo Clinic doing what they can every day to provide the best patient care and make sure our patients have the best experience at Mayo.”

Infectious diseases specialist, Dr. Pritish Tosh taking a drink from a water fountain at Saint Marys Hospital.

Infectious diseases specialist, Dr. Pritish Tosh taking a drink from a water fountain at Saint Marys Hospital.

6th statement issued midmorning on Thursday, May 3:

Water testing continues at Mayo Clinic Hospital – Saint Marys Campus.

The cafeterias are back online and have been cleared for use. Water samples were collected and analyzed for the cafeteria first, and water there has been determined to be safe for use. Filters on coffee machines, and other equipment have been changed, and most of these machines are back online. Ice machines across campus continue to be serviced and will be clearly marked once they are ready for use.

Marian Hall has been flushed and is back online. As with other facilities, water sources there are acceptable for hand washing, which should be followed by hand sanitizing. General use of faucets for any use other than hand washing is not advised at this time.

Additional water testing for other areas continues. Flushing has been completed in the Domitilla and Francis buildings.

Water for the Saint Marys Campus is being provided by Rochester Public Utilities after investigation traced the source of contamination to the well at Saint Marys. There have been no reports of illness or symptoms, and the water supply continues to be tested. Initial tests have not found issues with bacterial contamination or heavy metals.a Mayo Clinic facilities worker testing the water in a sink at Saint Marys Hospital5th statement issued early evening on Wednesday, May 2:

"Preliminary analysis has shown that the sediment in the water on the Saint Marys campus came from filtering material from the well at Saint Marys. There have been no reports of illness or symptoms, and the water supply has been tested and deemed safe. Initial tests have not found issues with bacterial contamination or heavy metals.

Water has been deemed safe for cafeteria use. Filters on coffee, ice machines and other equipment are being changed, and will come back online over time.

Additional testing is being conducted for other areas, and results are expected on Thursday. Other areas will be brought online as they are cleared. Flushing has been completed in the Domitilla and Francis buildings. Marian Hall will be flushed overnight."

4th statement issued late morning on Wednesday, May 2:

“On Monday, April 30, Mayo Clinic responded to reports of dark-colored water on our Mayo Clinic Hospital — Rochester, Saint Marys Campus. Initial testing determined that the discoloration was caused by sediment. As a precautionary measure, Mayo is advising patients, visitors and staff to refrain from drinking the water or using ice from the ice machines. While we wait for the results from further water testing, Mayo is advising staff and patients not to use water to bathe or shower on the Saint Marys Campus; patients are being provided with comfort bath bags that include items for bathing.

"We greatly appreciate the patience of our patients and visitors and commend our staff who continue to provide seamless care to our patients and serve hospital operations despite this challenge. There have been 89,280 bottles of water distributed so far. In addition, 2,880 gallons of bottled cooking water have been provided to our kitchens.

Until the test results come back, Mayo will continue to supply bottled drinking water to our staff, patients and visitors. The water is suitable for hand washing, but should be followed by hand sanitizers that are being placed in bathrooms across the hospital as a precautionary measure.  The situation is contained to Mayo Clinic Hospital — Rochester, Saint Marys Campus and the cause of the sediment is still being investigated.”boxes of sterile cloth being unloaded at Saint Marys Hospital 3rd statement issued the evening of Tuesday, May 1:

“On Monday, April 30, Mayo Clinic responded to reports of dark-colored water on our Mayo Clinic Hospital — Rochester, Saint Marys Campus and immediately began investigating the source. As a precautionary measure, Mayo is advising patients, visitors and staff to refrain from drinking the water or using ice from the ice machines. Water is running clear in some areas, following a flush of the water system, however, further testing and system flushing continue, and extra chlorine has been added to the water supply as a precautionary measure. Mayo is advising staff to not use water to bathe or shower patients on the Saint Marys Campus while the institution awaits results of the water testing.  Mayo continues to supply bottled drinking water to our staff, patients and visitors. The water is suitable for hand washing, but should be followed by hand sanitizers which are being placed in bathrooms as a precautionary measure across the hospital. The situation is contained to Mayo Clinic Hospital — Rochester, Saint Marys Campus.”a Mayo Clinic facilities worker unpacking supplies 2nd statement issued the morning of Tuesday, May 1:

"Mayo Clinic is investigating instances of dark-colored water on our Mayo Clinic Hospital - Rochester, Saint Marys Campus. We have backup plans, including distributing bottled drinking water, in place to ensure the safety of our staff, patients and visitors. Patients, visitors and staff should refrain from drinking the water or using ice from the ice machines. Bottled water is being made available to all. Patients and visitors are being advised to drink bottled water. The water is suitable for hand washing, but hand sanitizers are being placed in bathrooms as a precautionary measure across the hospital. The situation is contained to Mayo Clinic Hospital — Rochester, Saint Marys Campus. We will provide an update when the issue is resolved."

 1st statement issued the evening of Monday, April 30:

"Mayo Clinic is investigating instances of dark-colored water on our Mayo Clinic Hospital — Rochester, Saint Marys Campus. We have backup plans, including distributing bottled drinking water, in place to ensure the safety of our staff, patients and visitors. We will provide an update when the issue is resolved."Mayo Clinic facilites workers meeting about emergemcy water problem at Saint Marys Campus

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