System-Wide Drinking Water Management Protocol
As part of its system-wide improvements to the school district’s buildings, MSDWT has implemented a drinking water management protocol. In consultation with environmental professionals, we have implemented the following steps to ensure the safety of our drinking water supply for all users. In order to avoid any erroneous assumptions, the District is providing this public notice that the use of lab, classroom or other sinks for drinking water purposes is prohibited. These sinks may come in contact with chemicals, paint or other disposable matters which may be of the nature that should not be ingested. Limiting drinking water use to fountains, which are available in all school buildings, will allow the District to best manage and maintain the safety of its drinking water supply. Use of outdoor drinking water spigots will be limited to designated sources, which will be identified by appropriate signage.
Summary of Drinking Water Supply Sampling Program
The issue of potential lead in school drinking water supplies has become a national concern. To address this concern, Washington Township Schools voluntarily embarked on a program to sample its drinking water sources district-wide for lead, and take corrective actions as necessary.
From October 2016 through November 2017, interior and exterior drinking water sources were sampled for lead in comparison with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) Action Level (“AL”) for schools. While amounts above the AL were detected, the majority of such detections were associated with science lab and art room sinks. Corrective action measures were implemented for all drinking water sources above the AL. These measures included: the installation of filters to remove lead from water; the installation of new fixtures and/or plumbing; and, taking certain locations out of service. In addition, a new policy was established prohibiting the use of some water sources, such as science lab and art room sinks, for drinking water purposes. Finally, a new policy was established for designated exterior sources used for drinking water requiring water to run for approximately thirty seconds prior to use, and appropriate placards were placed at each location.
Confirmatory sampling conducted after the implementation of the corrective action measures confirmed that all designated drinking water sources are in compliance with the EPA standard. The combination of the corrective action measures and the implementation of the drinking water policies have addressed all issues identified through the sampling program. Washington Township Schools will continue to periodically monitor its designated drinking water sources, and take all actions necessary to maintain compliance with federal standards for lead in drinking water.