Recently our school district tested again for the levels of lead and copper in the water at the Old Turnpike School. The tests were conducted by Agra Environmental and Laboratory Services. Agra is a New Jersey certified laboratory (ID # 14013). The test results indicated that the Old Turnpike School is now in compliance in reference to the drinking water.
Specifically, a Lead level of 7.34 parts per billion (ug/L) was reported at the 90th percentile for samples collected during June, 2012. The 90th percentile result means that the water at OTS does not exceed the state’s action level and the district no longer is required to have a program in place to minimize Lead in the drinking water.
As you may know, the most recent intervention has been the installation of an orthophosphate feed system on January 26, 2012. Orthophosphate is an NSF approved product that is used by many utilities to coat the inside surfaces of the plumbing by forming a molecular film which prevents water from coming into contact with the metal piping. It is obvious from the recent test results that the orthophosphate system is working.
With that said, it is important for us to be cautiously optimistic as we move forward. Our plan is to continue with the orthophosphate intervention and test the water again in six months. The drinking fountains will remain closed for now. The school district is planning to install new and more sophisticated filtering systems for the drinking fountains. The eleven fountains will eventually be replaced and opened a few at a time.
It is important to recognize the skilled and dedicated efforts of the school district’s facilities personnel along with the continued support of the Board of Education as the water issues have been proactively addressed. Specifically, an acid neutralizing system was previously installed and a potash system was added to regulate the PH and control corrosion. The recent installation of the orthophosphate feed system appears to have helped a great deal in the efforts to achieve compliance. The school district will continue in its efforts to maintain and further improve upon the quality of the drinking water at the Old Turnpike School.
A copy of the Consumer Notice of Results is posted on our web site under the heading of Water Update that can be found in the District Headlines section on the Home Page.