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Water Testing In Red Clay Schools - Updated

***Updated: November 14, 2022.***  

This afternoon a letter is coming home with students to provide information on the status of the State’s water sampling project within public schools.  The letter includes information on a Virtual Town Hall scheduled for Monday, November 14th at 7:30 PM, as well as information on the project status and next steps.  We are working collaboratively with the Department of Education and Division of Public Health on this initiative, as we are all committed to reducing lead exposures and making schools safer and healthier through this effort.

Department of Education Letter to Families English | Spanish


***Updated: November 10, 2022.***

The Department of Education has provided updated information and requests relating to the lead testing they undertook last year. Thus, schools must take any fixtures with an initial reading of .0075 mg/L offline until the EPA reviews all protocols and testing plans related to the grant.

In Red Clay, this means that we will be taking approximately ten fixtures offline. None of these fixtures were drinking fountains; therefore, we do not envision any interruptions to our schools’ day-to-day operations. 
  
The following schools have one or more fixtures to be taken offline; A.I. du Pont H.S., A.I. du Pont M.S., Baltz Elementary School, Cab Calloway School of the Arts, H.B. du Pont Middle School, facility @ Telegraph Road, Skyline Middle School, and Warner Elementary School.  

We will continue working with the Department of Education and Public Health on this critical issue. We will provide updated information on our website. In addition, as we implement a district-wide drinking water testing program, we will disseminate information through our website, the Board of Education Wellness Committee, and other communication channels. 


A recent article in the News Journal brought attention to a statewide school water testing project undertaken by the Delaware Division of Public Health. In December 2021, custodians received a water collection kit with a request to collect water samples and return them to the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH).  DPH shared the results of these tests in the spring of 2022. Red Clay had eight buildings where tests showed that there may be concerns. Immediately upon receipt, Red Clay contacted DPH to discuss the next steps. The recommended next steps were to test the sources again to see if the results were consistent. Rather than waiting for DPH to conduct additional testing, Red Clay and DPH agreed that Red Clay would immediately contract with a DPH-approved vendor to retest all questionable samples.

 

The results of this retest are included in the lead sample results published in July 2022 (https://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/hsp/files/leadsampleresultsschools.pdf). 

Of the eight schools that were retested, only two had samples that were above the .015 mg/L limit. We reviewed these results with DPH. The two buildings that had samples showing lead levels above the federal limit were A. I. du Pont High School and the Groves Adult School.  At A.I. du Pont High School, the locations showing elevated levels of lead were all NON-drinking sources – hose bibs and an eye wash station. DPH recommended signage, removing the handles, and using a key to activate hose bibs and no other action.    At the Groves Adult School, there were three samples that showed elevated levels of lead. DPH determined that they would do additional testing of EVERY drinking water source in the building. The results of these tests as well as retests at Skyline and Warner showed NO ELEVATED RESULTS OF LEAD.  

 

Red Clay is committed to a safe environment in our schools and this includes a commitment to safe drinking water. In addition to our water testing efforts and our work with the DPH, we have provided reverse osmosis touchless bottle filling stations in every school. Many of our water fountains also have integrated water filters. In addition, our district wellness committee is currently working with schools to develop programs to raise awareness about the importance of adequate hydration as well as the elimination of single-use plastic bottles.  Anyone with additional questions about water quality in the Red Clay Consolidated School District is encouraged to contact Dr. Ted Ammann, ted.ammann@redclay.k12.de.us, or (302) 552-3704.  In addition, the following document (link below) has been made available by the Delaware Department of Public Health. 

 

 

 

Lead in Drinking Water Information Sheet