Schools/Education DrinkingFountainKids

Published on October 27th, 2016 |

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APS announces water sources in all its facilities have been cleared for use

Atlanta Public Schools has announced that all of the tested water sources in all currently occupied APS facilities have been cleared for usage, including all in Buckhead, according to the results of the district’s voluntary water testing initiative.

The district began its voluntary water testing initiative in April in response to reports of lead in the drinking water in a handful of cities nationally, such as Flint, Michigan, and Washington. It contracted with two independent environmental firms to conduct the tests, which involved taking samples from 25 water sources in all 113 district-owned facilities.

Two Buckhead schools, Sutton Middle and Smith Elementary, were among those testing positive for elevated levels of lead during the early testing phase. The other district-owned schools serving Buckhead also were tested, and any sites that had elevated levels of lead were addressed to lower the levels.

In July, at the halfway point of the testing process, the district reported over 97 percent of the water sources tested district-wide met the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standard. Since then, the issues with the remaining 3 percent have been resolved.

Now, all of the water sources have been cleared and meet the federal standard of being below the EPA action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb) for public water systems. This is even more stringent than the EPA’s action level for schools, which is 20 ppb.

Moving forward, the district is establishing protocols and procedures for addressing the buildup of lead in the water systems of its facilities. This includes:

“I am proud that our school district was the first in metro Atlanta to take the proactive step to test our water and ensure that it is in compliance with EPA standards,” district Superintendent Meria J. Carstarphen said in a news release.

“As always, the safety and well-being of our students, employees, and visitors to any of our facilities is paramount,” she added. “The public can be assured that we take that responsibility very seriously.”

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