February Lab Tests Confirmed Tainted Water at School: Emails
Emails obtained by NBC 7 under the California Public Records Act show that the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) knew seven weeks ago that water at a local elementary school had high levels of contaminants in it.
Documents show a consulting firm the district hired to test the water at the Emerson-Bandini campus found contamination and provided those results to San Diego Unified in February.
NBC 7 filed records request on Feb. 28 with every water agency in the county for communications between water providers and school districts regarding water quality tests at schools, and any action taken as a result of those tests.
So far, these documents are the first to show communications between area school districts and public utilities about any water contamination discovered.
(Published Wednesday, March 29, 2017) Now, emails obtained by NBC 7 show the school district was informed of lab results on Feb. 9 and again on Feb. 21 that the water at the school in Southcrest was contaminated with various chemicals.
Toxic levels of lead have also been discovered in the water there.
On March 2, nearly a month after the first lab results were obtained by the district showing contaminated water, NBC 7 visited Emerson-Bandini Elementary School on Newton Avenue.
A spokeswoman said the school district began providing bottled water to Emerson-Bandini Elementary School on Jan. 26.
It’s like your water heater breaking at home – first you mitigate the immediate problem (cut off drinking from the fountains and provide bottled water), and then you start looking into what the source of the problem was (the investigations that followed and that the report refers to),” the spokeswoman explained via email.
She said the nurse’s observation referred to in the emails came after the water issues at the school had been reported, and after the bottled water had been distributed on campus.