Howell Public Schools Completes Water Testing

Howell Public Schools Completes Water Testing
Posted on 04/05/2016

Howell Public Schools has completed testing the water for lead in each of its buildings. Water tests from the district’s 11 school buildings confirm that Howell students and staff have access to safe drinking water across the district. The district began this process to be proactive after the water crisis in Flint came to light.

Water testing at Challenger Elementary, Hutchings Elementary, Southeast Elementary, Southwest Elementary, Voyager Elementary, Three Fires Elementary, Highlander Way Middle School, the Howell High School Freshman Campus and Howell High School showed no detection of lead or levels well below the EPA’s action level.

Test results from Parker Middle School showed no detection of lead from fixtures that students access for drinking water. A fixture in the school’s boiler room that is rarely used and only accessible to Howell Public Schools maintenance staff did show elevated levels of lead. As a precaution, that fixture will be replaced.

The initial test results from Northwest Elementary did show elevated levels of lead. It was found that older fixtures in the building were the source of these elevated levels. The district replaced those fixtures and conducted another round of water testing. In follow-up testing, all but one fixture showed no detection of lead. A Northwest Elementary kitchen did return a result of 0.016/16 parts per billion, which is slightly above the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) action level of 0.015/15 parts per billion. Upon receiving these results, a second round of tests that included both first draw and flush draw samples were taken from that fixture. In the second round of testing both the first draw and flush draw returned results well below the EPA’s action level of 0.015/15 parts per billion. The first draw sample returned results of 0.006/6 parts per billion, and the flush draw returned results of 0.005/5 parts per billion. In following EPA guidelines, the district has implemented a flushing program for this fixture. Flushing involves running water through the faucet every morning before school begins to remove water that has been standing in the interior pipes. The Livingston County Health Department has confirmed that this is an effective means to address this issue. Since only Northwest Elementary staff have access to this faucet, the district is confident that daily flushing before use will occur.

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