School district shuts off some bubblers
By Erik Buchinger
Director of Buildings and Grounds Steve Reinke provided the Clintonville School Board with the district’s drinking water test results at its meeting on Monday, June 26.
Reinke explained the protocol of testing the drinking water in the district.
“The night before, I go in and flush these faucets for 10 minutes at 8 o’clock at night, then it’s got to sit for eight hours,” Reinke said. “Then I come in the next morning at 5 o’clock before anyone is in the building, and I get the samples, so it tests the first draw. The water has sat in the faucet for those eight hours before it’s been flushed, and that’s the result.”
Reinke said testing the water a second time comes back as undetectable just seconds after the initial testing.
“Any time we’ve taken a sample in the second draw, right after the first draw, it’s always zero,” Reinke said. “It’s just when it sits in that old, brass faucet, it might let some led out.”
Reinke said he took 80 samples throughout the district, anywhere where there was a bubbler or anywhere people could get a drink of water.
“Pretty much everything turned out good,” Reinke said.
According to Reinke, some old bubblers in the Dellwood Early Learning Center tested high, which has been the case in the past.
“We do believe it’s coming from that bubbler cabinet being brass and old,” Reinke said. “We turned off the water to those bubblers, so they can’t even get a drink with them anymore.”
Reinke said the water meter was higher at a few other drinking fountains in the districts, including one at the high school.
“Again, it’s the brass,” Reinke said. “The lead is coming from that brass from the hose bibb. In Longfellow, the water meter there was 7.3. It’s a brass spigot, so it’s coming from there.”
Reinke said the action level is 15 before something has to be done.
“I’d just like to point out there is no safe level of led, and it’s cumulative,” board member Jim Schultz said. “This is pretty darn good. Even the ones that are around five or over, we should maybe coach the teachers to flush them a little bit.”
School Board President Ben Huber said he is glad the problem is now under control.
“This was really concerning a few years ago, and I’m glad we’ve figured it out,” Huber said.
Reinke said it took a lot of money and studying to help solve the problem.
“Since all the testing years ago, we’ve put in new water coolers for bubblers in the hall throughout the district,” Reinke said. “Every one of them is zero and undetected or very low. All the other faucets are under the 15 level, and at Longfellow, since we took that well out of there too, all those numbers have come down.”