Three West Virginia County School Systems Continue Response to Water Crisis

January 31, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) is working closely with county school systems to ensure student safety. The WVDE was made aware that five state public schools located in three West Virginia counties will undergo another round of flushing following water tests conducted by the West Virginia National Guard.
“It is important for students, parents and educators to understand that the five schools highlighted by the most recent round of testing were well below the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) recommended level, but were not yet at the more stringent screening level that the interagency team was directed to achieve beyond the CDC guidelines,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Jim Phares.
Kanawha County
George Washington High School
John Adams Middle School
Andrew Heights Elementary School
Putnam County
Buffalo High School
Lincoln County
Lincoln County High School
This second round of flushing is to achieve a non-detect level, below 10 parts per billion, which is 100 times more rigorous than the 1 part per million screening level provided by the CDC for protecting public health. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin directed the National Guard to test public and private schools to confirm the water meets this more rigorous standard to provide an additional level of assurance.
During the current water crisis, county school systems have partnered with their respective health departments, the West Virginia Bureau of Public Health and the National Guard to make sure each of their schools met the safe criteria for water consumption. Hand sanitizer, bottled water and food preparation with bottled water will continue to be used in impacted county schools until the schools have been cleared below 10 parts per billion.
Kanawha, Putnam and Lincoln County School Systems will re-flush the five county schools once again following the proper protocol and guidelines for flushing to achieve a level below the 10 parts per billion.  Additional water samples will be taken to ensure water quality at the identified schools.
As additional results come in from the remaining facilities, county school systems will communicate with parents and the public.
For more information contact Liza Cordeiro in the WVDE Communication Office at (304) 558-2699.

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