Water Testing Results for Lead and Copper

Letter to the school community from Dr. John Brackett:

Good evening,

This is a follow up to yesterday’s email about the test results associated with our voluntary sampling for the presence of lead in the water in our schools.  The results of all samples have now been received.  Nearly 300 samples from sinks and fountains throughout the district were submitted for testing to the Mass Water Resources Authority.  These were ‘1st draw’ samples, meaning they were taken without letting the water run for a period of time, providing a worse-case scenario.  The results are as follows:  

  • 293 samples submitted
  • 287 (98%) samples tested below the Action Level of 15 ug/L (parts per billion)
  • 6 samples were found to be above the Action Level

Four (4) samples above the level, I shared with you yesterday:

  • 3 at Hosmer - one in back kitchen sink, 2 in classroom sinks with bubblers
  • 1 at the High School - sink in nurse's office restroom.

The final two (2) samples above the level are:

  • 1 at the Middle School – sink in kitchen
  • 1 at Phillips—sink in room 30 in preschool area.

What steps have we taken?.--We have turned off the water to the 6 sinks and placed an out-of-service sign on each.

--We will begin replacing the fixtures and bubblers in the six locations.  Once new fixtures are installed, we will again test the water using a !st draw sample.  The unit will remain out-of-service until the test results are returned.

--If the new results are below the Action Level, we will return the unit to active use.

  • --If the new results remain above the Action Level, we will reassess our options that may include replacing more supply pipe or removing the unit entirely.

  • --In the interim, the principal at each impacted school will work with staff to make accommodations for students and staff  to access a sink or drinking water, including providing bottled water if required. 

  • --We will implement a periodic random sampling plan for all schools.
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  • --We will promptly notify parents and staff of any new information that we receive about the condition of our drinking water.

As I previously mentioned, we will  accept nothing less than a 100% of the drinking water that our students and staff have access  being below the Action Level. Mitigating six (6) units throughout all of our schools is doable within our existing operating budget and with our staff.   

Thank you for your understanding and patience,