Dear Mountainside Families:
Mountainside Public Schools is committed to protecting Beechwood School and Deerfield School students’ and staff’s health. As required by the Department of Education regulations, all drinking water outlets in our facilities must be sampled for lead. Mountainside Public Schools has scheduled the lead drinking water sampling for Beechwood School and Deerfield School for Wednesday, April 12, 2017.
Why Test School Drinking Water for Lead?
Lead can cause serious health problems if too much enters the body from drinking water or other sources. Lead is most dangerous for pregnant women, infants, and children under 6 years old. Exposure to high levels of lead during pregnancy contributes to low birth weight and developmental delays in infants. In young children, lead exposure can lower IQ levels, affect hearing, reduce attention span, and hurt school performance. At very high levels, lead can even cause brain damage.
Lead is rarely found in the source water; rather it enters the drinking water primarily as a result of the corrosion, or wearing away, of materials containing lead in the service line or interior plumbing. These materials include lead-based solder used to join copper pipe, brass and chrome-brass faucets, and in some cases, pipes made of lead that connect buildings to water mains (service lines). Since 1986, all plumbing materials must be “lead free”. The law currently allows plumbing materials to be up to 0.25 percent lead to be labeled as “lead free”. However, prior to January 4, 2014, “lead free” allowed up to 8 percent lead content of the wetted surfaces of plumbing products including those labeled National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certified.
What Actions Are We Taking?
Prior to sampling, Mountainside Public Schools developed a Lead Sampling Plan for Beechwood School and Deerfield School and conducted a plumbing profile. The purpose of the plumbing profile was to identify all drinking water outlets and evaluate the plumbing materials of the school to determine if lead solder, lead pipes or a lead service line are present.
Contact Wayne DeVico, Supervisor of Maintenance and Custodial Services, 908 232-8828, Ext. 305, to view the Beechwood School and Deerfield School Sampling Plan.
All drinking water outlets in Beechwood School and Deerfield School will be sampled on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. We anticipate receiving the results from our laboratory within two weeks of sampling. Upon receiving the sample results, we will inform you if any of the drinking water outlets had a result greater than the action level of 15 µg/l (parts per billion [ppb]) and will post all of the results on our website at www.mountainsideschools.org. The results will be used to assist in the prioritization of future water testing for lead in accordance with Beechwood School and Deerfield School Lead Sampling Plan.
Beechwood School and Deerfield School will also implement immediate remedial measures for any drinking water outlet with a result greater than the action level of 15 µg/l (ppb). This will include turning off the outlet unless it is determined the location must remain on for non-drinking purposes. In these cases, a “DO NOT DRINK – SAFE FOR HANDWASHING ONLY” sign will be posted.
How Can I Learn More?
For more information about water quality in our schools, please contact Wayne DeVoico, Supervisor of Maintenance and Custodial Services at 908-232-8828, Ext. 305. For information about water quality and sampling for lead at home, contact your local water supplier or refer to the Department of Environmental Protection’s website at http://www.nj.gov/dep/watersupply/dwc-lead-schools.html.
Nancy Lubarsky, Ed.D.
Chief School Administrator