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Water Tests At Three Kanawha Schools Are Above Acceptable Levels

Reported: Jan. 31, 2014 1:04 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 31, 2014 6:29 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) -- Water tests at three Kanawha County schools are above acceptable levels.

Kanawha County school board member Pete Thaw said the schools are George Washington High School and John Adams Middle School in Charleston and Andrews Heights Elementary School in Tornado.

The West Virginia National Guard conducted the tests at 130 schools in the wake of the water crisis.

Schools have been using bottled water for drinking and cooking. But the tests of the tap water were done as a precautionary measure. Thaw said the systems will be flushed at the schools this weekend, and he expects them to be ready on Monday.

Kanawha County Schools Superintendent Ron Duerring said in a news release the three schools will undergo another round of flushing following water tests conducted by the West Virginia National Guard. He said this is to achieve a non-detect level below 10 parts per billion as directed by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.

During the current water crisis, Kanawha County Schools has partnered with the Kanawha County Health Department, the West Virginia Bureau of Public Health and the National Guard to make sure each of its 69 schools met the safe criteria for water consumption, Duerring said.

The superintendent said the state's interagency team has been testing the water system to ensure non- detect levels below 10 parts per billion. This testing included additional testing inside schools and hospitals in the affected areas to give an additional level of assurance.

Hand sanitizer, bottled water and food preparation with bottled water is being used in each school until the schools have been cleared below 10 parts per billion. Kanawha County Schools will re-flush.

Duerring said Kanawha County Schools followed the proper protocol and guidelines for flushing each individual school to achieve the CDC recommended level of 1 part per million. This additional testing and work is to ensure a level 100 times below the CDC recommended level and a level CDC has deemed safe for all populations.

As an additional safety precaution, each school’s water was tested and samples were taken to ensure the water quality was at this additional standard. Out of the 69 schools that were tested, 59 water samples have returned and three schools were not yet at the lower threshold that the interagency team was directed to achieve beyond the CDC guidelines. The rest of those schools results showed non-detect levels at the 10 parts per billion level.

"Kanawha County Schools continues to work with the local health department, the West Virginia Bureau of Public and the National Guard to meet safe water standards," Duerring said. "Additional flushing will begin this weekend and additional water samples will be taken to ensure water quality at the identified schools. As additional results come in from the remaining facilities, Kanawha County Schools will communicate with parents and the public. Our goal is the safety of all children."

The results of the water tests conducted at the schools can be viewed
here.



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