School City of Hammond Issues Alert Regarding Water Testing

The Hammond Board of School Trustees issued the following statement earlier today. We applaud the Board for providing this information to parents:

August 29, 2018-Information about SCH water testing

The School City of Hammond relies upon the City of Hammond for its water supply. Because it is a public water supply, the State of Indiana does not require water testing; however, the School City of Hammond has regularly tested selected instructional spaces throughout the district for many years.

All prior testing has determined that there are no elevated levels of lead. Given the recent nation-wide concern and attention about water testing for schools, the School City of Hammond contracted with a consultant to conduct voluntary testing of drinking water sources throughout the district as a means to further verify water quality.

This voluntary testing has been more expansive than what was done with prior testing that the School City of Hammond completed. As part of this process recommended by environmental consultants, the School City of Hammond conducted water testing of buildings constructed before 1986.

These buildings were selected because prior to 1986, water systems were constructed using various components, some often containing lead. After 1986, building code changes prohibited the use of lead-containing components in water systems intended to supply water for human consumption.

The water testing recommended by the consultant required sampling over a specified time period in accordance with the United States Environment Protection Agency guidelines. The consultants working with the schools have also noted that the testing was likely skewed since the water pipes were not being used or flushed since June 6, skewing results of testing. As a precaution and until further testing can be done to conduct further water testing, fixtures where water samples reported elevated levels of lead have been taken out of service. Also, as an interim step, bottled water is being provided at each of the effected buildings.

There are water fountains and fixtures that are not being taken out of service within our buildings. These fixtures passed guidelines and EPA standards. Because some buildings have one or more fixtures taken out of service, the School City of Hammond does not believe at this time that there is a problem with the supply of water provided by the City of Hammond. By taking out selected fixtures, the School will be able to determine if the reservoirs of these fixtures together with lack of regular flushing caused the elevated test results.

Should you have further questions or concerns, please address those questions to the following:

SCHADMIN@hammond.k12.in.us

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