Until further notice, our water at the school is not safe to drink. We will continue to provide water with water dispensers. We will have cups available for students. We will also have filled water bottles available. We would encourage students to bring their own water to start the day and refill using the dispensers.
The district is still facing issues with its water supply. The nitrate levels exceeded 10 mg/L in our July testing. The average nitrate level is sitting right around 13 mg/L. Due to this the state DEQ office has had us post notice that our water is unsafe to drink. We have been providing bottled water since May already, so that hasn’t changed for us. What has changed is that because we are considered a public water source, we now have to work with DEQ to mitigate that issue.
We are working with the county’s water engineer and others to try to come up with a plan to take care of the problem on our end. We are exploring several different solutions and the final solution will likely be a combination of a couple of the possible solutions. One solution is to punch a new well that is not in direct line of the bad water flow. Our current well was punched around 50 years ago and it wouldn’t hurt to have a second well anyways. We need to look at a water treatment solution also. That includes a Reverse Osmosis (RO) system that would take up quite a bit of space, or a Anionic treatment that would also take up space. As noted, because we are a public water source, any solution must be engineered and approved by the DEQ. We are on the fast track for any plans and will move forward as soon as the plans are approved. Our goal is to have safe drinking water for students and staff, but that may well mean using bottled water for the immediate future.