Tacoma Public Schools isn’t the only Pierce County school district that’s voluntarily testing for lead in school water.
The Franklin Pierce School District, which includes the communities of Parkland, Midland and other areas outside Tacoma, on Tuesday released the results of its own water quality tests, conducted earlier this year.
During mid-winter break in February, a sampling of water was taken at each Franklin Pierce district school. Only two drinking water sources were tested at each school, and samples were taken five days after the break began.
All sample results were below the Environmental Protection Agency’s threshold of 20 parts per billion (ppb) for schools and child care centers, the district said.
Two locations — the kitchen at Collins Elementary and the kitchen at Brookdale Elementary — were below the threshold, but still high, according to district records.
The Collins kitchen tested at 16.4 ppb and the Brookdale kitchen was at 19.9 ppb. District spokesman Willie Painter said officials decided to re-test at those locations March 15.
During the “first draw” of water on that date, the Brookdale kitchen water registered at 3.51 ppb and the Collins kitchen hit 8.27 ppb. Re-testing later that same day showed both kitchen results at less than 1 ppb. Those samples were taken in the evening after school let out.
During the February test, Painter said, “water was sitting in the pipes for five days without running. That’s longer than the EPA suggests.”
He said the district knew the initial results might be high.
School district staff collected the water samples and sent them for analysis to Am Test Inc. Laboratories in Kirkland.
Painter said Franklin Pierce was prompted to release its results after receiving questions from parents who had heard the news about Tacoma school water problems.
Complete results of testing in Franklin Pierce are available on the district website, fpsschools.org.