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May 4, 2016 — Letter to the Community

Dear School Community,

There has been significant news coverage lately about risks related to excessive, waterborne lead. With this in mind, our school district proceeded proactively to have all of our schools tested to ensure that the drinking supply for our students, faculty and staff is completely safe.

I am pleased to inform you that the official results from this extremely comprehensive testing are now available to us. Throughout our district, tests were conducted on 181 locations, from which drinking water is dispensed, and 14 locations were found to require remediation (four in McKinley School, three in the Middle School, two each in Paul Robeson Annex, Woodrow Wilson School, Lincoln Annex and one in Redshaw School). Of course, we shut these down immediately and bottled water is available to students and staff as needed. Repairs will be completed as quickly as possible.  Based on our current information, we anticipate remediation to take approximately one month.  Overall, these infrastructure adjustments will be small in scope, yet they’ll give everyone peace of mind knowing definitively that our water supply is free from lead-focused concerns.

(Click here to see water locations in need of remediation)

(Click here for full lead test report)

Before closing, I would like to share with you a suggestion that is based on professional input we gathered while the water was being tested. In our homes, particularly for those of us who live in older buildings with dated pipes, it is recommended practice to allow a faucet run cold for about 10 to 15 seconds before drinking water or using it for cooking. This is the case because water that has been sitting inside a pipe can have a higher concentration of lead. Also, only drink cold water from the tap, hot or even warm water can have more elevated lead levels. To help you remember this advice, here (see LINK) is an infographic on faucets and lead.

Anything we can do to ensure the health of our families, including having the school district’s water supply thoroughly assessed, is well worth the effort. At New Brunswick Public Schools, we are strongly committed to safeguarding everyone’s health.

If you have any questions or concerns, you may contact Frank LoDolce, Director of Facility Design & Construction at 732.745.5300, Ext. 5389.

Aubrey Johnson
Superintendent of Schools