Last June we released a Special Edition of the District Newsletter to inform the community of the Sherwood School District’s response to recent concerns related to water quality in local schools. (The June 3, 2016 Special Edition Newsletter is attached for your reference.) At that time, we had already secured the services of an experienced environmental engineering firm, PBS Environmental, to conduct testing in all buildings across the District, and we expedited that work in June to ensure any concerns could be addressed before the return of staff and students in the fall. This announcement serves as follow-up to that message to provide you with the results of the water testing and the next steps for the District.
During the month of June, samples were collected from all facilities and schools in the Sherwood School District by PBS Environmental and the samples were sent for analysis to laboratories selected by that vendor. The results of the testing took several weeks to process due to the recent high demand for similar tests among area school districts.
The sampling methodology and the interpretation of laboratory results were based on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance. The EPA recommends that schools take voluntary measures to reduce lead where levels consistently exceed 20 ppb. Of the samples analyzed in all district facilities, we are pleased to report that only three fixtures indicated results exceeding the EPA action level of 20 ppb. These fixtures are located in Portable 26 at Archer Glen Elementary, Classroom 1 at Middleton Elementary, and the kitchen at Hopkins Elementary.
Out of an abundance of caution, we took immediate action to shut the water off and remove all three of these fixtures from service when we received these reports.
In response to the test results, we have chosen to remove the fixture from Portable 26 at Archer Glen, as it is not required per the plumbing code and is no longer necessary for the educational function of the space. The kitchen fixture at Hopkins will be removed, replaced and retested. The classroom fixture at Middleton Elementary will also be removed, replaced and retested. These fixtures will remain out of service until further testing confirms they are below the EPA recommended action level. All of this work will be completed before students return to school in September.
Sherwood School District is committed to protecting student, teacher and staff health. As part of our ongoing attention to the quality of water in our facilities, we will continue to explore long-term solutions and conduct regular testing. We will communicate new information related to this issue as it comes available.