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6 Stafford County schools continue to have unsafe levels of lead in water

Six Stafford County schools continue to have unsafe levels of lead in water. (ABC7)

Water is the hot subject at Stafford County Public Schools. Specifically, what’s in it; lead.

We showed parents the district’s newly released findings. Six schools showed unsafe levels of lead on campus.

“It is definitely concerning. We did get an email from the county,” parent Amy Carter said.

“I just warned my daughters don’t drink at school,” parent Matt Leroy said. “Bottom line take water don’t do that.”

They are the same six schools we told you about in August; when lead was discovered during the District’s first round of testing before school started.

They are: North Stafford High, A G Wright Middle, Garrisonville Elementary, Hartwood Elementary, Drew Middle and Gari Melchers Complex.

The problem spots are 33 bathroom and classroom sinks and hallway fountains. They will all continue to be off limits to students until further notice. Parents told us the District has been keeping them updated on the problem.

“We’ve been notified since the summer time,” Richard Hernandez said. “We are fully aware of what’s going on.”

The district officials provided us with this statement:

Stafford County Public Schools is sampling water from schools throughout the division under requirements of a new Virginia law that took effect July 1, 2017 for all public K-12 schools. This sampling is part of a larger program underway statewide to test for the presence of lead in drinking water. SCPS is working with county government, the Virginia Department of Health as well as our industrial hygiene consultant to ensure a team effort in keeping students and staff safe.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has provided protocols for school systems affected by this law to use in conducting the testing. It should be noted that there are multiple steps in the process to identify potential sources of lead contamination. Additional testing was performed on September 1, 2017 using the EPA protocols.
SCPS is conducting a third round of testing on the 33 locations that continue to have elevated lead readings above the 15 ppb with the goal to localize the source of the lead. We expect to have the results back in five to ten days. Once obtained and the source is located we will mitigate.
Moving forward, staff and our consultant will continue to follow the EPA protocols to localize potential sources of the lead and finalize a mitigation plan. Staff will continue to suspend the use of drinking from any water fountains/taps that require further evaluation. If needed bottled water has been provided at those locations. Please be assured that all students and staff are safe. Our remaining schools and facilities water sampling will take place over the next six months. The wellness of our students and staff is of the utmost importance.

Here are the links to the latest lead testing results:

https://www.staffordschools.net/Page/23174

https://www.staffordschools.net/cms/lib/VA01818723/Centricity/Domain/3672/Results%202nd%20Test.pdf

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