Officials: NDSH water safe from sinkA patient in one of North Dakota State Hospital’s secure units says the only source of drinking water in the unit is unsafe. The secure services units house the State Hospital’s Sexual Offender Program.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
A patient in one of North Dakota State Hospital’s secure units says the only source of drinking water in the unit is unsafe.
The secure services units house the State Hospital’s Sexual Offender Program.
A letter of complaint was sent to the North Dakota Department of Health by Jon Nesheim, 28, a resident of Secure I. The letter alleged that the only source of drinking water in the unit was from a bathroom sink. He said the fact residents brushed their teeth over the sink and spit into the sink made the water unsafe to drink.
The Sex Offender website of the North Dakota Office of the Attorney General lists Nesheim as a high-risk sex offender with convictions in Mountrail County for sexual assault and gross sexual imposition.
Previous to sending the letter to the Department of Health, Nesheim had filed a complaint with the State Hospital on June 4. That complaint was denied on June 5 by the clinical team at the hospital.
The clinical team reply to the complaint said, “Our safety office and infection control office have deemed the water safe to drink.”
The letter of complaint to the Department of Health was furnished to The Jamestown Sun by Leslie Johnson Aldrich, Nesheim’s attorney. Johnson Aldrich did not return calls seeking comment.
“As for the Health Department’s role, we looked at the water supply,” said Stacy Eberl, state Health Department public information officer. “The water comes from the Jamestown municipal water system and meets all safe water standards.”
Eberl said the department is only concerned with the quality of the water; not the location or other uses of the fixtures.
Information from the Joint Commission, the agency that issued the accreditation to the State Hospital, agreed.
“Our standards require safe drinking water,” said Brett Coons, media contact for the Joint Commission. “No other requirements exist for the plumbing.”
Alex Schweitzer, superintendent of the State Hospital, said he was unable to comment on the case because of patient confidentially.
“All I can say is our drinking water is as safe as any in Jamestown,” he said.
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at email@example.com