May 24, 2016
This letter is a follow up community update to the April correspondence on the lead water testing conducted in our schools several weeks ago. The April 2016 press release may be accessed by clicking here.
The primary concern of the Verona Public Schools is the safety and well being of all of our students. We have taken a proactive approach regarding testing for the safety of lead levels in our drinking water. In April, we notified the Verona community of preliminary lead water testing results in our schools. The initial results from random sampling in April at all district schools were encouraging. At that time, the district decided to take additional precautions to ensure that all drinking water sources are safe for consumption. We made the decision to take all water fountains out of service until we had an opportunity to confirm that all drinking water is safe.
At the end of April, the Verona Public Schools began collecting water samples from every water fountain and all kitchen faucets throughout the district to test for the presence of lead. Results of this testing have yielded safe drinking water on all of our kitchen faucets. The results also indicate that the majority of our water fountains are safe for drinking. The water fountains that have been deemed safe have been reactivated in each of our schools. However, some water fountains have yielded results where the presence of lead is above US EPA standards..
Lead water testing in our schools returned the following number of water fountains that will require replacement or remediation. Brookdale (2), Forest (0), FN Brown (4), Laning (9), HBW (0), and VHS (3). It is important to note, 6 of the 9 water fountains at Laning are located in classrooms and teachers have reported that these fountains are rarely used. As an additional precaution, the district will continue to keep these water sources out of service and remedy the situation by replacing the water fountain or plumbing, where necessary.
Children will only be permitted to drink from water fountains deemed safe by confirmed test results. Many of our water fountains have been reactivated in our schools where the water is safe to drink. Please know we are taking every proactive measure possible as a safeguard for your children.
The following websites provide information from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the New Jersey Department of Health.
Each of our schools currently has many functioning water fountains that have been tested and identified as safe drinking water sources. Please feel free to continue to send your child to school with a bottle of water if you so choose. Thank you for your continued support and cooperation.
Superintendent of Schools