Tuesday, November 24, 2020

District, City of Southlake Conduct Water Testing of Schools

After several cities and school districts across the nation found unacceptable levels of lead in their drinking water, Carroll ISD reached out to the City of Southlake to proactively conduct testing of the water in every CISD school building.

This testing by trained city officials was not required or mandated but is the result of a voluntary decision by CISD Administration to ensure quality drinking water in local school facilities.

A total of 27 water samples were tested, including water in the kitchen area and one water fountain in each of the district’s 11 schools, the Aquatics Center, Dragon Stadium and the Administration Center.

All of the samples taken in CISD passed the lead test. The Environmental Protection Agency has determined an acceptable limit of 15 parts of lead per billion parts of water. All CISD samples passed the water test and fell below EPA guidelines for lead.

In addition to testing for lead, city officials tested for the presence of copper. All but one of the 27 test samples passed the copper test. One water fountain at Carroll Middle School had slightly higher than acceptable levels of copper. It was a water fountain that got little to no use during the summer months and officials believe this could be the reason for the slightly elevated levels of copper in the water.

Based on this one test, the district immediately turned off the identified water fountain and as a precaution, the one next to it. The lines were flushed and for an extra measure of assurance, CISD requested additional testing of 17 other fountains throughout the CMS campus.

The EPA and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) consider public water systems to be in compliance if the laboratory results for 90% of the samples collected (90th percentile) are below 15 parts per billion (ppb) for lead and are below 1.3 parts per million (ppm) for copper. The fountain that did not pass the initial test at CMS had 1.5 ppm for copper.

A second round of testing has now been completed. All of the water samples in this second round of testing at CMS met the required EPA and TCEQ requirements.

CISD is committed to safety, and while the slightly-elevated level of copper posed little to no risk to middle school students, school officials wanted to be sure the fountain was not in use until proper levels of copper were maintained. Passing this second round of testing was an important step in ensuring confidence in CISD’s water system.

School officials say they are pleased to be able to work successfully with the City to ensure safe water levels.  To learn more about the City of Southlake water sampling program, visit their website at https://www.cityofsouthlake.com/2400/Lead-and-Copper-Sampling-Program

Should anyone have questions about the water test results at CMS or any other facility, please contact Bob Carabajal, CISD Director of Maintenance, at Robert.Carabajal@southlakecarroll.edu.