Facilities Management - Environmental Testing Results

This website is being provided to our school community to provide ongoing information on important environmental testing results.  Please note, the district is NOT required to test for Radon, however, Burlington Township has chosen to do so.   Lead testing became required for all schools within New Jersey during the 2016-2017 school year.  The requirement includes testing every 6 years for lead in drinking water.  The district is NOT required to test for mercury as there are no currently available guidelines.  Burlington Township is one of the first districts in the state to face a potential environmental issue because of mercury in rubberized floors.  The testing is being conducted out of an abundance of caution for our students, staff and visitors.
LEAD TESTING

The district, in compliance with New Jersey law, testing all water sources for the potential of lead. Below are the results of this testing.

In July 2016, the New Jersey Department of Education adopted mandatory regulations regarding testing for lead content in drinking water in all public schools throughout the state. All school districts were subsequently provided with very specific instructions on development of a plumbing profile and Lead Sampling Plan. Schools are required to test within one year of the enactment of the new law. In addition, schools must also retest for lead content once every six years after initial testing. The district currently plans to test one building per year, as we do for radon, to ensure we remain in compliance and aware of any potential lead content issues. This will help to ensure the health and safety of our students.

Prior to this guidance over the course of the last several years, the district has begun to change water fountains in the High School to water fountains and/or bottle filling stations with filters and cooling elements. During the last two years similar units were changed in Fountain Woods School and the Middle School. The district plans included changing water fountains at B. Bernice Young School just prior to the adoption of the new regulations. It was decided to proceed with the testing before changing any additional units and allow for the information collected to drive the continued replacement plan.







Links to actual test results can be found in each building's letter.








MERCURY ABATEMENT INFORMATION

Burlington Township Schools passed a referendum in December 2015.  One of the many projects was replacement of the B. Bernice Young Elementary School gymnasium floor.  During the work to scope the removal of the existing flooring and the installation of new flooring, the district became aware that the floor contained mercury.  The amount of mercury in the bulk sample was over the limit for the flooring to be processed at a non-hazardous landfill and would have to be treated as hazardous waste.  On the day this information was received, the district took immediate proactive measures and engaged a Certified Industrial Hygienist to monitor the air in the gymnasium and determine the mercury vapor levels.  The results indicated that the gymnasium was under the acceptable limits.  

The District sought more information and compiled specifications for removal of the flooring to be conducted over the summer 2017. The District began communicating with the community in February 2017, after gaining a better understanding of issue.  The information on this issue and our work to further understand the issue as well as provide continued information to our families is ongoing.  

The District takes the responsibility of ensuring safety seriously and will continue to update our families as we progress through this situation until the flooring is removed and new flooring is installed.









A Bigger Issue Than Just Burlington Township
Mercury vapor from flooring is becoming an emerging issue for schools across the country.  






Below you will find some reference materials and website links.

Center for Disease Control (CDC):

Mercury Factsheet

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

Mercury in Your Environment

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR):

Mercury Quick Facts

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH):  Mercury Vapor


If you have any medical questions after reading the information and reviewing the resources provided, please reach out to your health care provider.  If you have any technical questions regarding mercury vapor, you may also contact the EPA at 866-DEP-KNOW (866-337-5669).  Non-medical and non-technical questions should be directed to me, either through email or by phone.  We have also created a website with relevant information.  Please click here to access the website. During the actual abatement process over the summer, we will be providing our community with further important information you will need regarding building closures and schedules.