Nitrate levels force South Coast schools to revise water plan

Pescadero High School’s water has again exceeded the maximum contaminant level for nitrates, forcing the district to revise the corrective action plan for improving water quality it planned to send this month to the State Water Resources Control Board.
Those included treating the water or connecting to County Service Area 11 and using bottled water in its kitchen for cooking and food preparation.
But last week, test results showed that nitrate levels had again exceeded the maximum contaminant level.
The results mean La Honda-Pescadero Unified School District Superintendent Amy Wooliever will “have to revise the revised revised” plan to reflect the high nitrate levels before submitting it to the state, she said at Thursday evening’s school board meeting.
But the new test results and revised plan won’t result in substantially different day-to-day operations for the school, Wooliever said.
The school had been using an elaborate system of pipes, tubes and bottled water in its kitchen to wash dishes to avoid using its well water.
Before the new tests, the corrective action plan listed replacing bottled water in the kitchen with a nitrate removal system.
The school has no plans to cease using bottled drinking water throughout the school, which it has done for around 15 years.
The plan also proposes constructing a new well on the southwest corner of the high school property, to replace the current faulty well that had been at the site before the high school was constructed.
In January, the district governing board gave the green light for staff to begin pursuing state funding for the new well, which could serve both the school and a new fire station that has been proposed for the site as well.

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