April 19,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, lead tests done at both Willard school and George Washington Middle School produced only one non compliant drinking fountain in each school.

Following the NJ DEP instructions the Ridgewood School System tested 25 samples at Willard with only one fountain containing non compliant lead levels and at George Washington Middle School the Ridgewood School System took 27 samples and all but one were compliant.

Readers are already questioning the results . According to the CDC High levels of lead in tap water can cause health effects if the lead in the water enters the bloodstream and causes an elevated blood lead level.

Most studies show that exposure to lead-contaminated water alone would not be likely to elevate blood lead levels in most adults, even exposure to water with a lead content close to the EPA action level for lead of 15 parts per billion (ppb). Risk will vary, however, depending on the individual, the circumstances, and the amount of water consumed. For example, infants who drink formula prepared with lead-contaminated water may be at a higher risk because of the large volume of water they consume relative to their body size.

The pipes at these schools are probably 50+ years old. Questions remain as to weather the school ever tested these faucets before? Are the elevated lead levels only a recent occurrence and if so how long were the students subject to these elevated lead levels ?

The other issues that puzzles parents is how can it be just one faucet? And why was this not tested earlier? Why did the school system have to  wait for the state to develop rules to test every faucet if they knew that old plumbing can cause problem and the risks of lead poising are very well known ?
As taxpayers we are often reminded that safety is a top priority for our students but that priority  seems to often get pushed to a back burner when it does not involve raising taxes .