Water testing agreement inked

— Lead and copper contamination in potable drinking water is a concern for schools across the state.

For that reason, the School Board on Tuesday night approved an agreement with PBS Engineering and Environmental to have its water tested at an estimated cost of $8,800.

Superintendent Ray Tolcacher said testing will be conducted “… for the safety of the kids, for the peace of mind for parents.”

Drinking water was tested in each of the district’s six school buildings in 2004, he said. Results showed levels of lead and copper were below the federal threshold.

Testing was conducted as a precaution, Tolcacher said, adding, “We were one of the only districts tested.”

Cities conduct regular drinking water tests and he said the School District should as well.

“There’s been no new construction with the exception of a few newer drinking fountains,” Tolcacher said. Those fountains are of a higher quality and would not be likely to increase lead and copper levels, but reduce them.

School Board Director Peggy Douglas asked Tolcacher about drinking water tests and quality at Whitstran Elementary School.

He said the school receives its water from a private well tested regularly.

“Nitrates is a bigger concern,” Tolcacher said. “We watch that very, very carefully.”

He told the School Board he believes the cost to conduct water testing “… is a

good thing.”


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