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Grosse Pointe Schools releases results of voluntary water testing

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GROSSE POINTE, Mich. – Grosse Pointe Public Schools on Monday released the results of its voluntary water screening sampling and analysis for lead and copper.

Samples were taken from 10 locations at high schools, five locations at middle schools and three locations at elementary schools. Of the 130 samples tested in the district's 15 schools, 10 were above the action point, the school said. School officials reported that 92.3 percent of the samples were safely in the Environmental Protection Agency's goal range.

The lead action level is 0.015 mg/L. The copper action level is 1.3 mg/L.

Below are the six schools with initial readings above the action level, according to the school system:

Barnes - 2nd Floor, Room 207, Faculty Lounge Sink
1st  0.070 *
F <0.0010 **
1st  1.6
F    0.020

Brownell Middle School - 1st Floor C7A Lifeskills Middle South Sink
1st Floor Employee Lounge Sink
1st  0.044
F <0.0010
1st  0.021
F <0.0010
1st  0.26
F    0.064
1st  0.30
F    0.024

Defer Elementary - 2nd Floor Kitchen Area Left Prep Sink
Ground Floor Drinking Fountain Outside Room 107
1st  0.021
F    0.0016
1st  0.0015
F    0.021
1st  1.2
F    0.056
1st  0.72
F    0.76

Kerby Elementary - 1st Floor Kitchen Sink
1st  0.022
F   0.013
1st  0.072
F    0.0092

Maire Elementary - 1st Floor Right Kitchen Sink
1st  0.016
F <0.0010
1st  0.50
F    0.025

Pierce Middle School - 1st Floor Gym West Drinking Fountain
2nd Floor Drinking Fountain Outside Room 201
1st  0.044
F    0.036
1st  0.025
F    0.0031
1st  1.9
F    1.1
1st  0.049
F    0.015

*1st draw refers to collections made as the water source is turned on
**Two-minute flushed samples are taken after water has been timed running at that source for two minutes
-The data is shown in parts per million.

Initial analysis of the two-minute flushed results appears to indicate more of a problem with individual fixtures than a systemic issue, according to the school system.

For more information, please read these documents:
Cover Letter from Testing Engineers and Consultants
The entire GPPSS water sample report
"The findings of this initial screening are comparable to what we're seeing in other schools and buildings that we have tested," said Scott Chandler, manager, Industrial Hygiene Services of Testing Engineers and Consultants Inc., the outside company GPPSS contracted with to conduct testing using Paragon Laboratories.

The school district said it is taking these steps to ensure student safety:

  • Turned off and disconnected every fountain that tested above an action level
  • Shared results with principals, staff, families, city managers, and local health care professionals
  • Retested all of the Defer and Pierce drinking fountains, and conducted additional tests, including Ferry where data was initially reported incorrectly with rush results anticipated this week
  • Tested the Pierce Middle School kitchen (not included in the initial list of locations)
  • Bottled water has been delivered for students and staff at Defer and Pierce schools where the fountains were disconnected while the district awaits further test results

The school district said it is also planning to take these steps:

  • Changing fixtures for all kitchen prep sinks and/or installing filters that meet Safe Water Drinking Act and EPA requirements
  • Retesting after fixtures replaced/filters installed
  • Due to low usage, capping bubblers in classrooms (drinking fountains attached to some classroom sinks). Directing staff not to allow use in interim
  • Double-checking all drinking water coolers against the federal Lead Contamination Control Act list
  • Establishing an ongoing water sample schedule going forward
  • Directing staff to flush all sinks for two minutes prior to using water for consumption or cooking, particularly after breaks/weekends

The district said it will continue to update the community moving forward.