Bottled water being used at one Cumberland school

CUMBERLAND – Officials at John J. McLaughlin Cumberland Hill Elementary School are providing bottled water for students following word from the state Department of Health that two water samples taken from the school showed lead levels higher than what’s acceptable.
Parents were informed in a letter last Friday from Supt. The two problem sites at the Cumberland Hill School are a level of 60 parts per billion, or ppb, at a kitchen faucet and a level of 41 ppb at the water fountain across from the book room.
Every other reading of two or three drinking fountains and one sink per school came in under 10 ppb.
Samples from the remaining four schools in town were collected a day later but results hadn’t been reported by mid-week.
“We anticipate that as more test results come in, we may have similar results in other schools.
This is not just a Cumberland specific issue.” Mitchell echoed comments from Champi who had said from the outset that he expected to find some unacceptable lead levels because samples collected in the early morning from the water bubblers and sink faucets had been sitting in water lines for more than 12 hours.
It’s not the drinking fountains but the water lines connected to them that are the culprit, Champi said.
In fact, June Swallow, state Department of Health chief of Drinking Water Quality, is offering the same advice to school officials: flush lines before students arrive and replace faucet aerators.
Both Mitchell and Champi are saying that replacing fixtures in the school is the long-term expectation.

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