Skamania School, built in 1946, is an aging building with few upgrades in the last 50 years. One of the challenges of an old building is the aging pipes and fixtures. These pipes appear to be causing elevated levels of lead in some locations of our water system.
We have been fortunate to receive $200,000 Urgent Repair grant from Washington State to take care of the lead issue. We currently have an architect firm working on the initial stages of the project. Our goal is to replace the pipes by the fall of 2019. In the meantime, we are taking every precaution to reduce exposure of our students and staff by taking the following actions.
- Each morning before school we flush water through the pipes by running the cold-water tap at each fixture until the water is noticeably colder. The longer water has been sitting in the pipes, the more dissolved metals it may contain.
- We have discontinued the use of water stations with the highest levels of lead, e.g., library.
- Students are asked to fill water bottles from the drinking fountains in the hall. These have historically shown low lead levels.
- Finally, we also have purchased bottled water for students to fill their water bottles.
For more information on reducing lead exposure and the health effects of lead, visit EPA’s Web site or contact your health care provider. We also have more information on our website at https://skamaniaschooldistrict.org/lead-in-water/
Information on lead in drinking water is available from EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791 or online: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/lead. You may also access Washington State Department of Health’s Office of Drinking Water website.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter. Feel free to call us at (509) 427-8239 or come in and visit.
Dr. Ralph Pruitt, Superintendent