Centennial School District – Lead In Drinking Water Summary – October 2019
Why is Centennial School District performing lead in drinking water testing?
To prevent exposure to lead contamination in the drinking water of Pennsylvania’s schools, Act 39 amended the Public School Code in June 2018 to require school districts to either test for lead in drinking water or to discuss their rationale for choosing not to test. As such, the Centennial School District (CSD) opted to test their facilities. We developed and implemented a program to test water from existing fixtures across all buildings.
As detailed in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Training, Testing and Taking Action (or 3Ts) for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water Toolkit, even with a public water source meeting all health standards, older plumbing materials in facilities with intermittent water use patterns (such as schools) are more likely to have elevated lead concentrations. Plumbing joints with lead solder were common before 1986, and even “lead-free” brass fixtures prior to 2014 could contain higher levels of lead. While a majority of our facilities have been constructed or renovated in the last decade, we are still required to conduct sampling as per Act 39.
What has Centennial School District done?
Our district took 470 water samples from drinking water sources such as drinking fountains and sinks typically used for water consumption at each school building as well as the Administration Building, and the Transportation Center in May 2019.
With the assistance of ALS Environmental, CSD collected additional sampling in October 2019 from: Davis, Willow Dale Elementary Schools, Log College and Klinger Middle Schools, William Tennent High School, and the District Administration Office (Swan Way).
What did the testing reveal?
The results of the testing revealed where lead concentration was above the EPA’s action level of 15 ppb (0.015 mg/L) in areas of our schools and administration offices. This is a localized issue dealing with the water fixtures themselves, and not an issue pertaining to the water supply. These elevated levels can be a result of many factors, such as, the age of the fixture, a lack of use of the fixture, and even the solder used to manufacture the fixtures.
What are the specifics of CSD’s testing?
- Out of 470 water samples collected (235 draw samples, 235 flush samples), analytical results identified 14 draw samples above the EPA Drinking Water Standard (0.015 milligrams per liter or mg/L).
- Where the 14 draw samples showed exceedances, the flush samples (those taken after 30 seconds of flow) were also tested. As such, these 14 samples needed additional testing and or remediation.
- The locations of the 14 sample points that exceeded the EPA Standards where at the following facilities:
- Davis Elementary School – 2 exceedances
- Willow Dale Elementary School – 2 exceedances
- Klinger Middle School – 2 exceedances
- Log College Middle School – 4 exceedances
- William Tennent High School – 3 exceedances
- Swan Way Administration Building – 1 exceedance
What are the steps and measures taken by CSD?
As outlined in Act 39, and as per the attached exceedance list, one or a combination of the recommended control measures were applied at the 14 sampling points that exceeded the EPA standard during the initial draw and flush sample.
A recommended control measure (i.e., replacement of faucets/fixture, appropriate signage) has been completed at each of the exceedance locations, follow-up sampling (initial draw and flush) was completed to confirm no EPA lead exceedances persist and that the implemented control measures were successful.
CSD has taken the following control measures to address the identified exceedances:
- Certified Lead-Free Faucet Replacement (and associated piping as necessary)
- All (district wide) exterior hose bibs has been marked not for drinking water use
- Cleaning of all faucet aerators (to be performed on a quarterly basis)
- Purging of all back flow prevention devices (where municipal water source enters building)
What does CSD have to report?
Per Act 39, tested elevated lead levels must be reported to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and posted on PDE’s website and the affected school’s website. Secondly and per Act 39, a drinking water testing program must be repeated and reported annually, or the rationale for choosing not to test must be publicly reported (i.e., School Board Meeting).
Drinking Water Test Results