July 15, 2016
Joint News Release
Water Tested at Schools Built Prior to 1986
Ten facilities tested, no lead detections
Chapel Hill, NC – As part of its commitment to the safety and wellness of students and staff, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools recently undertook a water testing project at its ten oldest sites. These facilities were all built prior to 1986, the year lead solder was banned.
The school district partnered with the Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA), a public, non-profit agency that provides water, sewer and reclaimed water services to the community, to conduct the testing.
"We greatly appreciate OWASA's expertise in guiding us through this process," said Assistant Superintendent Todd LoFrese. "We always want to be sure our students and staff have safe drinking water at every school, and we are very happy with the results of the testing."
School district maintenance staff collected 167 water samples from sinks and water fountains throughout the ten facilities and sent the samples to OWASA, which contracted with a certified private laboratory for analysis.
OWASA recently concluded that no lead was found. The water was also tested for copper, which was detected in 37 samples. However, every copper level was below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) action level and maximum contaminant level goal of 1.3 parts per million.
Buildings where water samples were gathered for testing
Carrboro Elementary School
Chapel Hill High School
Culbreth Middle School
Ephesus Elementary School
Estes Hills Elementary School
Frank Porter Graham Elementary School
Glenwood Elementary School
Lincoln Center (administrative offices)
Phillips Middle School
Seawell Elementary School
For more than 20 years, OWASA has tested for lead in drinking water leaving the Jones Ferry Road Water Treatment Plant. To date, no lead has been found. However, lead can be released into water from solder in pre-1986 plumbing systems and from plumbing fixtures containing lead. Copper can be released into water from copper pipes and brass fittings. To minimize the potential for lead and copper release into drinking water, OWASA adds to its water a phosphate compound which forms a protective coating in pipes and fixtures. OWASA also controls the pH (acidity/alkalinity) of its water and carefully manages water chemistry as part of the corrosion control program.
For more information
Orange Water and Sewer Authority
Katie Harrold, Laboratory Supervisor at the Jones Ferry Water Treatment Plant
firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-537-4227
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools
Dr. Todd LoFrese, Assistant Superintendent
email@example.com or 919-967-8211