Superintendent Dr. R. Stephen Green, in collaboration with Dr. S. Elizabeth Ford of the DeKalb County Board of Health and Lee May, Interim CEO of DeKalb County Government, announced today that sources of the drinking water in each of the District’s 150 schools, centers, and facilities will be tested for lead starting Tuesday, September 20th. Testing, which will begin with the District’s oldest elementary schools, will conclude in the Summer 2017.
“The health and safety of all our students and staff are, and will always be, our top priorities,” said Dr. Green. “We have absolutely no evidence of water quality issues in any school or building but out of an abundance of caution we want our students, staff, and the community to know our water is safe for consumption.”
The drinking water testing will sample:
- All main water meters supplying buildings
- All kitchens
- All water fountains
- Bathroom sinks
- Ice machines
- Water sources in teacher lounges
- Athletic fields
Each location will be sampled twice to ensure compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines for testing of water at schools. If any sample indicates a presence of lead at EPA action levels (greater than 15 parts per billion), water will be shut off immediately at the source, then repaired or the problem removed. Bottled water, if needed, will be provided until any problem is fixed.
Parents will receive testing results in letters from their schools and on the District website.
The District website will also post frequent updates as well as additional information regarding water quality and lead testing results.
Atlanta Environmental Management, Inc. (AEM), an Atlanta-based environmental consulting and engineering firm, has been contracted to conduct the testing.