CHARLESTON, W.Va. The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) learned that after re-flushing five schools have achieved a non-detect level of MCHM in their water systems. These five schools join the nearly 100 schools where testing has resulted in non-detect readings at the more rigorous screening limit.
The West Virginia National Guard, last week, began a round of testing on public and private schools. Six schools were highlighted by the round of testing. The six schools in Kanawha, Lincoln, Clay and Putnam counties were well below the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) recommended level, but were not yet at the more rigorous screening level that the state’s interagency team was directed to achieve by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin beyond the CDC guidelines.
The five schools that were re-flushed and re-tested over the weekend and now fall below both the CDC recommendation and Gov. Earl Ray Tombin’s directive are:
George Washington High School
John Adams Middle School
Andrew Heights Elementary School
Buffalo High School
H.E. White Elementary
The WVDE is awaiting another set of results for Lincoln County High School.
“I hope these latest results provided by the National Guard will help assure parents, students and teachers that our schools are safe,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Jim Phares. “The results that are in for the impacted schools meet all standards. As always, student learning and student safety are priorities and I must commend our local superintendents for their quick and diligent work with health officials and the National Guard.”
This second round of flushing took place 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. The more rigorous standards are also approved by the CDC for pregnant woman.
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.
Schools with additional questions or concerns are being asked to contact the West Virginia Bureau of Public Health at (304) 356-4121.
For more information contact Liza Cordeiro in the WVDE Communication Office at (304) 558-2699 or (304) 807-6988.
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