Throughout 2018, Blaine School District has partnered with the State Department of Health in voluntarily testing school water fixtures for the presence of lead. Testing in the Primary and Elementary schools took place earlier this year and confirmed that all drinking water fountains and bubblers are within the EPA's water quality guidelines. Any sink faucets at or near the recommended threshold have since been replaced, and we will continue to monitor the water quality status at these locations. Additional adjustments will be made as needed, and water fixtures throughout the district will continue to be flushed on a regular schedule.
Middle School Water Quality Testing Results
In early November, water samples were collected from sixty-six drinking water fixtures at Blaine Middle School and results were received shortly after Thanksgiving Break. This test included every fixture that provides drinking water to students or is used to prepare food. Samples were collected prior to the school day before students were in the building. No fixtures had lead levels in excess of the 20 parts per billion threshold. Three tap faucets tested below 20ppb, but above 10ppb. While the State Health Department offers a range of options for these fixtures, the District will replace them, consistent with the protocol followed earlier in the year at the Elementary and Primary schools.
Why is lead a problem?
Children are exposed to lead from a variety of sources in their environments. Exposure sources include dust from old, deteriorating lead paint, contaminated soil, take-home exposures from parents who work in certain industries, and many others. Each of these sources contribute to the amount of lead in the bodies of children. It is important to reduce exposure from every source as much as possible. Children six years old and younger are the most susceptible to the effects of lead. Their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead. Even at very low levels of exposure to lead, children may experience effects including lower IQ levels, reduced attention span, hyperactivity, poor classroom performance, or other harmful physical and behavioral effects. If you are concerned that your child has been exposed to lead for any reason ask your healthcare provider about having them screened for lead.
Overall results by specific location are available upon request at the Blaine School District Office. We remain committed to ensuring that students have access to safe drinking water in our schools.