District Water Quality & Testing

Dear Members of Clinton Township School District:

With reports of lead in drinking water at several New Jersey schools, the Clinton Township School District took action to test for lead levels in its four schools. The District complied with New Jersey Department of Education requirements, along with New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (EPA) guidelines and protocols for testing.  For an overview of the testing process and results, see below. 

With health and safety foremost in our thoughts, the district will continue to monitor samplings and remain in and or exceed compliance with EPA and State guidelines. Should you have questions or need more information, please let me know.

Sincerely,

Pamela C. Fiander, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

  

CTSD Water Testing Overview

Last fall, at the New Jersey Department of Education regional meeting, area districts were directed to sample water from fixtures (faucets and water fountains) for lead content. The districts were directed to develop and implement a plan to remediate the fixtures where the lead content exceeded acceptable level established the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The parameters were established by the DEP under the Quality Assurance Protection Plan (QAPP), in conjunction with mandates from the New Jersey Department of Education. 

The Clinton Township School District took the following steps to address the initiative: 

  • Plumbing infrastructure profiles were developed to inventory materials, piping, and fixtures at each school building. This was used to map the piping infrastructure.
  • The District solicited professional environmental firms to create the QAPP and conduct the lead sampling.  PARS Environmental of Robbinsville, NJ was selected.
  • The plumbing profile was completed by district personnel. 

PARS Environmental conducted lead content sampling is each of the four school buildings and in all fixtures and fountains throughout the district. The district decided that while faucet water is not intended for consumption, but is in a vicinity of a device for consumption, it would test all fixtures. The process required that a pre-flush be performed by district personnel no earlier than eight hours prior to -- but no later than sixteen hours prior to sampling. 

The environmental firm took the samples and after a two-week turnover, the results were received, showing that some water fountains and faucets exceeded the DEP action level of 15.5 parts per billion. Please note that the district administration established stricter standards of 10 parts per billion for greater safety. Any fixture exceeding this level would be addressed for remediation. The results were made public on the district website.

 Once the results were provided, the district began remedial action, which included: 

  • Replacing cafeteria faucets
  • Removing water fountains (also referred to as “bubblers”) in the Round Valley School and Patrick McGaheran School
  • Replacing water fountains at Spruce Run School and adding filtration at each classroom sink
  • Putting signage in place throughout the district on faucet facilities which notifies the user that the facility is for hand washing only and not for consumption. Signage was added to the student and faculty bathrooms.

 After remediation, a second round of testing took place in August. In summary: 

  • At the Round Valley School and Patrick McGaheran School lead levels in all fixtures requiring remediation tested in an acceptable level (no further action is needed).
  • At the Clinton Township Middle School, two fixtures continued to test above the acceptable level, and there is additional lead filtration in process of being placed on these fixtures. After the additional filtration is placed on these fixtures, they were tested again prior to the start of school, and no further action is needed.
  • At the Spruce Run School, the new water fountains continued to test above the acceptable level. The cause of this issue was that incorrect filters were installed on the water fountains and fixtures.  The district obtained the proper lead filtration filters and put them on the water fountains and faucets. The fixture were tested again for lead content by the professional environmental firm. In September, prior to school opening, the filters at Spruce run were retested and found to be successfully below action levels.  No further action is required. 

It is important to note that, according to the EPA, human contact with water containing lead content, such as washing hands or bathing, is safe because human skin does not absorb lead that is in water. For more information, please see the EPA website.