Maplewood Schools / Kids South Orange

Elevated Lead Found in Water Fountain at South Mountain School, District Reports

The following was sent by the South Orange-Maplewood School District on July 18:

Dear SOMSD Community,

As part of the South Orange Maplewood School District’s commitment to the safety, we continue to test our water outlets for lead. Furthermore, in 2017 all drinking water fountains were equipped with a filter as an additional layer of protection, and the district also put in place a system to regularly monitor and replace those filters.   Together these protocols are intended to prevent and detect exposures to the maximum extent possible.

As part of our routine testing protocol, the district has a plan to test fountains and sources of water that students might ingest.  The district promptly reports all results, including elevated levels and remedial measures undertaken. All water test results are available on the SOMSD website under the Business Office tab.  The link is available here as well.  (https://www.somsd.k12.nj.us/district/business-office/watertestingresults/).

Lead tests were recently conducted in South Mountain Elementary School. The water test results from the water fountain near room 102 registered 15.7ppb which is above the statutory limit of 15ppb.  Water test results greater than or equal to 15ppb are considered above lead action levels and require additional follow-up.

This water fountain at South Mountain Elementary School has been removed from service.  In accordance with state guidelines and with the support of our lead testing company, Lew Corp., plumbing and filters will be replaced. The water fountain will not be placed back in service until the issue is remediated and water testing falls below lead action levels.  We will communicate the results of that work to the community as well.

Please reference the FAQ (https://www.state.nj.us/dep/watersupply/dwc-lead.html) on the State of New Jersey website that provides information for better understanding of the implications of lead.  Please note that health experts continue to remind the public that exposure to lead paint and other environmental stimulants are the greatest dangers for lead poisoning. If parents or guardians are concerned about exposure to lead the recommended first step is to consult with your primary care physician or pediatrician.  In the event that the parent or guardian’s have limited or no health insurance, follow up through Zufall, a federal qualified health center is located at 95 Northfield Ave., West Orange. For an appointment call 973-325-2266.

If you have additional questions regarding lead screening please contact the Maplewood Health Department 973-762-8120 ext. 4400 or the South Orange Health Department.973-378-7715 ext. 2020.  Both health departments have been informed of the results of this water lead testing and will be informed of subsequent remediation and testing.

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