• A significant water quality benchmark reached

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    Work has begun to on the second group of 15 schools that will have their drinking water turned back on. (Photo by Beth Conyers)

    Water is now back on in the first group of 15 schools as part the district’s program to replace water fixtures in all 90 PPS schools and programs. These first 15 schools served as a pilot program to help the district’s water quality team overcome unforeseen problems and further refine our methods to become more efficient as we move onto the next sets of schools.   

    Work on replacing the drinking fixtures at the next group of 15 schools will begin shortly, and contractors will soon be submitting bids for work on the third set of schools. Schools in the second group are: Beach K-5, Boise-Eliot K-8, Chavez K-8, Clarendon Head Start, Creston K-8, George Middle School, James John K-5, Jefferson High School, King K-8, Ockley Green Middle School, Peninsula K-5, Rosa Parks K-5, Sitton K-5, Vernon K-8 and Woodlawn K-5.

    Crews will work late afternoons, evenings and weekends to avoid disrupting classes. PPS is planning to have drinking fountains and kitchen faucets in all schools replaced by the summer of 2018. This work does not include classroom drinking fixtures, which require more extensive work and will be replaced later when scheduled work to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act takes place.

    A step-by-step plan to address water quality
    The district is using a step-by-step approach to isolate where the high lead and copper issues are coming from. It starts with replacing the fixtures first, then retesting before moving to the more disruptive and expensive step of opening up the walls and replacing the water lines. Through the pilot program, the district has solved most of the first 15 schools’ water quality issues through fixture replacement alone.

    -David Mayne