E. coli bacteria in ponded water caused officials to close the East Jessamine High School soccer field until further notice, Superintendent Lu Young said Wednesday.
The field East Jessamine uses is next to the district's central office building on Wilmore Road. Wednesday was the first day of classes for Jessamine students.
Tests of ponded water near the field showed a concentration of E. coli roughly nine times higher than the Environmental Protection Agency considers acceptable, a school district news release said.
The district tested the water because it hadn't been there before, Young said.
An engineering firm that performed the tests advised the district that it was not necessary to discontinue use of the field but that skin contact with the water should be avoided.
Nevertheless, the district decided to suspend use of the field.
"The safety of our student-athletes and spectators is our number one priority in this situation," Young said. "We will move as quickly as possible to remedy the problem and get our kids back out on the field when it is deemed safe for play."
A locked fence surrounds the field, and only authorized personnel will have access. The district is working with geotechnical engineers to determine the cause of contamination and a remedy.
E. coli is often reported in connection with food-borne illnesses. Symptoms include stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting and fever.