CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston County School District on Monday announced it was voluntarily testing drinking water for all schools in the district for the possible presence of lead in internal plumbing systems.
According to a media release, it comes as part of the district’s commitment to providing a safe and healthy environment for all students.
“Even though South Carolina schools are not required to test drinking water for lead content, it is recommended by federal and state regulators, and by water utility professionals,” explained Ron Kramps, CCSD Associate of Facilities Management. “It is clearly in the best interests of our students and staff that we take the extra step for their health and safety. We have and will continue to respond immediately with corrective action, which may involve replacing older fixtures, adding filters where necessary, or flushing programs.”
The district said it started testing drinking water for lead with the goal of having testing completed in all schools by the end of February.
The order of schools for sampling was determined based on evaluation criteria suggested by the EPA and the AWWA. Water outlets like faucets, water fountains, sinks, etc., typically used or known to be used for drinking or cooking will be tested.
According to the district, the testing program was developed to meet the state’s established drinking water standards, with consultation from the local municipal water systems and published guidance provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the American Water Works Association.
“We applaud CCSD for determining if the plumbing and water fixtures in their schools contain lead, and for expediting corrective action to protect students and staff,” said Kin Hill, CEO at Charleston Water System. “Every dollar spent to remove lead from premise plumbing is very well spent.”
“CCSD is ahead of the curve with its testing program,” said Clay Duffie, Mount Pleasant Waterworks General Manager. “As the District continues to test its facilities’ infrastructure for lead, our team stands ready to share its expertise in corrosion control and support their team.”
Parents with students who attend CCSD schools will receive a letter after their child’s school is tested explaining the results and any corrective action that was or will be needed.