Water Testing in AAPS Buildings



  • Testing for Lead in AAPS Drinking Water

     
    Superintendent’s Communication
    Tuesday, October 16, 2018

    Today, we are updating our AAPS Testing for Lead in Drinking Water Program, and I want to ensure that you have received the most recent information.

    As part of all of the work we do in the Ann Arbor Public Schools to attend to the health and wellbeing of all of our students and staff, we also have our attention on the quality of our drinking water in our schools. We are committed to achieving the lowest possible levels of lead in drinking water in the AAPS, and take very seriously the risks associated with lead exposure, particularly with our youngest children.

    Hydration Station Installation Process

    Members of our team have been busy with installation of hydration stations, and all AAPS school campuses will have at least one hydration station installed by the beginning of next week.

    We will continue the process to replace older water fixtures with hydration stations in all schools until we achieve the recommended 1 station per 100 individuals, dependent on floor plan of the building and student and staff population.
  • water testing graphic
  • Water Sources Tested in Each Building

    Beginning immediately with the 2018-19 lead testing cycle, which is currently in progress, we will test all drinking water and food preparation sources in all AAPS schools. 

    Mitigation Level

    We are amending our plan to establish greater than 5ppb (>5ppb) as the level at which we will conduct mitigation action; any drinking water or food preparation locations testing at greater than 5ppb will be taken out of service until mitigation is completed and acceptable test results are achieved.

    Over the coming days, we will be engaging with a respected expert in water quality who will advise the AAPS in our continuing efforts to achieve and sustain the lowest possible levels of lead in drinking water, and we look forward to sharing more information soon.

    Below is the amended full statement describing the AAPS Testing for Lead in Drinking Water Program.

    These adjustments to the AAPS Testing for Lead in Drinking Water Program place the Ann Arbor Public Schools among the most aggressive in Michigan and across the nation in monitoring and addressing any levels of lead in drinking water for our students and staff

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Swift signature

    Jeanice K. Swift
    Superintendent of Schools
    Ann Arbor Public Schools



    AAPS Testing for Lead in Drinking Water Program

    As part of all of the work we do in the Ann Arbor Public Schools to attend to the health and wellbeing of all of our students and staff, we also have our attention on the quality of our drinking water in our schools. We are committed to achieving the lowest possible levels of lead in drinking water in the AAPS, and take very seriously the risks associated with lead exposure, particularly with our youngest children.

    Lab flask with water We have voluntarily tested water annually in all AAPS schools since spring, 2016, and in previous years, we have addressed any and all issues of parts per billion (ppb) measures of >15ppb, established as an action level by the EPA.

    The 2018-19 water testing cycle for lead in drinking water is currently in progress.

    With the overall goal of the program to reduce exposure to lead, in this current round of testing we are also lowering the threshold for when we implement the AAPS protocol for addressing an issue. Beginning with 2018-19 testing, remediation efforts will be implemented when lead levels are at >5 ppb.

    drinking fountain cartoon In addition, we are currently working to replace older water fixtures in schools, and installing water bottle filling stations with NSF certified lead filters. To help guide us in this work we will complete an inventory of all drinking water sources across the AAPS.

    Testing in AAPS schools is focused on all drinking water and food preparation locations, including all high-priority sites such as drinking fountains, kitchen sinks, and classroom water fixtures. Water testing is conducted by Arch Environmental Group, professional partners to AAPS on environmental issues. Arch Environmental Group fulfills a similar service for 47 other school districts in Michigan.

    The AAPS protocol for addressing the issue, when lead levels read at >5ppb, may include replacing water fixtures, installing certified lead filters and, in some cases, replacing water pipes behind the fixture, which is the protocol indicated by water quality experts.

    Next steps: 

    1. Install water bottle filling stations with NSF certified lead filters in all our AAPS schools and encourage students and staff to use these as preferred locations to obtain water for consumption.
    2. With the 2018-19 water testing cycle, ensure all drinking water and food preparation sources are tested in every AAPS school building.
    3. Continue the flushing of all water systems following school breaks, such as summer, Thanksgiving, winter break, and spring break.
    4. Complete an inventory of all drinking water sources to ensure attention is paid to all fixtures across the district.
    5. Implement appropriate remediation/mitigation activities for any drinking water source locations measuring >5ppb across the district.
    6. Education for students, staff, and parents: with aged infrastructure across the country, our AAPS community faces the possibility of consuming water containing lead anywhere they go, so following best practices beginning with teaching our students to always obtain drinking water from trusted sources.
    7. Install signage in low priority locations, such as bathroom sinks, custodial closets, etc. to advise that water in these locations is not for consumption.
    8. Add AAPS Testing for Lead in Drinking Water Program Information as an Annual Report to the Board of Education (as was done in 2016), to ensure the Board and community receive this information updated directly each year.
    9. As we have done since spring, 2016, we will continue to post results of AAPS Testing for Lead in Drinking Water Program on the AAPS website.

    drop of water cartoon In the Ann Arbor Public Schools, we are committed to the work of preventing and addressing levels of lead in school drinking water, and look forward to maintaining our position as a leading school district in the state on this very critical issue of student health and safety.