SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – The South Plainfield School District, in an effort to protect the community and be in compliance with Department of Health regulations, recently conducted lead testing of the school’s drinking water. The results of the water sampling were received by the district in January and released to the public last week.
Through a plumbing profile conducted for each of the district buildings, all drinking water and food preparation outlets were tested. Of the 175 samples taken, all but two tested below the lead action level of 15pg/1 [parts per billion] established by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for lead in drinking water. They include two drinking water outlets at South Plainfield High School – a water fountain at Exit 7 that came in at 15.4 ppb and a pot filler in the kitchen with a lead level of 106 ppb.
According to James Damato, interim business administrator for the South Plainfield School District, upon receiving the results, both water sources were immediately taken out of service. “No other water sources have been affected,” said Damato. “Right now we have shut down those two water sources so that they cannot be used.”
The district, added Damato, is currently working to determine a solution to maintain a reduced lead level in these areas and conducting follow-up testing. “Eventually, we plan to replace the fixtures or piping and/or add inline filters so that the re-test will be below the limits set by the state,” he said, noting that the cause of the lead samples could be from any number of factors.
“It could be the fixture itself, it could be the pipe, or maybe even the solder used on the pipe,” said Damato.
A copy of the school district’s test results is available in the central office for inspection by the public and can be viewed Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. or online at www.spboe.org. For more information about water quality in South Plainfield Schools, contact Supervisor of Building and Grounds Thomas Wiggins at 908-754-4620, ext. 662.
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