VANCOUVER, Wash. – Tests KATU News had performed on bottled water from a plant in Burlington, Wash. have revealed a strain of mold.
KATU got the sealed bottle from Dorothy Bliss, a Vancouver woman who found a semi-solid white substance floating in two bottles of "Northwest!" lemon-flavored water she bought from WinCo days prior.
"It kind of grossed me out thinking I might have swallowed something like that," Bliss said.
She said the company, Advanced Refreshment, didn't take her requests to test the water seriously.
"I contacted them last Thursday, and I was really appalled," she said. "I thought, 'OK, they're going to send me a package overnight and tell me how to package it up and send it back to them so they could test it and see if they need to do a recall.' And it never came."
KATU took one of the bottles to Pyxis Laboratories, a northeast Portland lab that specializes in testing drinking water, to find out what was in the water.
Pyxis microbiologist Rob Taylor tested the water for mold.
"It's absolutely, definitely, some kind of filamentous mold," Taylor said.
Specifically, Oomycota, which is commonly called "water mold."
Consumer Reports has written about the same kind of mold found in Vitamin Water a few years ago.
But is the mold dangerous? Well, only if you're a plant.
"It's not necessarily something to freak out about, but it's not something you would expect or want in your drinking water," Taylor said.
KATU called Advanced Refreshment on Tuesday after receiving the test results and again on Wednesday. The company did not call back either time.
Since representatives from the company did not call back, KATU could not ask them what could have happened to the water. But Taylor said the most likely reason is worker contamination at the bottling plant.
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