District Announces Changes to Water Protocols
August 24, 2018 - GCS is committed to the health and well-being of its students and staff. The district and its partners with the City of Greensboro and other municipal water suppliers took the proactive step to begin testing the water inside school buildings in early 2018. While most of the results didn’t require any action, three schools showed higher-than-expected levels of lead.
The district immediately changed faucets and retested the water, which showed that the issue had been resolved. However, we know that we can never be too safe when it comes to our children.
Starting in 2018-19, schools will follow a new protocol regarding the water faucets associated with drinking and food preparation. As a precaution, water in these locations will be flushed for one minute prior to the beginning of the school day.
This simple step is just one way we are working to ensure that our students and staff don’t have to worry about access to safe drinking water. We will continue to expand our testing and remediation program to all schools and remediate as needed.
https://www.pwss.enr.state.nc.us/NCDWW2/ (Well water results)
Test Results Show Drinking Water Meets EPA Standards
July 26, 2018 – Test results reveal that water provided to Guilford County Schools meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s standards for safety.
With assistance from the cities of Greensboro, High Point, Burlington, Jamestown and Winston-Salem that supply water to GCS schools, water samples throughout the district were tested for copper and lead. A representative screening sample was collected and tested from 109 sites – 99 schools and 10 GCS facilities in February.
School districts are not required to test water supplies. The initiative was a proactive, precautionary measure to ensure that drinking water is safe for students and employees. The project team used EPA’s published technical guideline titled "3 T's for Reducing Lead and Copper in Drinking Water in Schools".
Three schools – Southeast Middle and Allen Jay and Frazier Elementary – were found to have amounts at or above the recommended action level established by the EPA. The highest level for lead was found at Southeast Middle School. Faucets at those three schools were immediately isolated and replaced. Follow-up samples showed lead levels below the laboratory detection limit.
Michael Borchers, Assistant Director for the City of Greensboro Water Resources Department, said the EPA’s school sampling protocol is specifically tailored to maximize the likelihood that the highest concentrations of lead are found based on how the faucets are isolated and sampled after an overnight period of rest when water hasn’t been running.
“The project was a huge success all the way from the collaboration with the school system, surrounding municipal water systems and the State Division of Water Resources to the overwhelming positive results and corrective measures taken for the three schools that had results above the action level. This very proactive effort goes a long way toward assuring parents and school system staff the water they receive and use within their facilities is safe to use and consume,” Borchers said.
Schools that are provided with well water are not included in this initiative, as those schools are already tested monthly.
“While testing isn’t a requirement for school districts, we wanted to be proactive and welcomed the opportunity to partner with local water suppliers and the state on this project,” said Scott McCully, GCS Chief Operations Officer. “It’s important that parents and our employees know the drinking water is safe.”
The information is now being shared with parents, employees and the public. To learn more, click here.