Just Watercooler

[watercooler]

The discoloration comes from iron in the water in both the well and the pipes. We obtained this letter which was distributed to parents: Dear Parents and Guardians: I am writing to provide you with an update on our school systems efforts as they relate to the water aesthetics issue at Bodkin Elementary School, Chesapeake Bay Middle School, and Chesapeake High School. First and foremost, both the Board of Education and I are attuned to and understand the concerns expressed by parents, students, and staff, and we are taking steps that are prudent and appropriate to address this issue. Maryland Environmental Service (MES) has operated the Chesapeake Complex Water Treatment Plant serving Bodkin Elementary, Chesapeake Bay Middle and Chesapeake High schools using a sophisticated sand filtration system for iron since 2014. AACPS has adopted both the Federal (EPA) and State (MDE) secondary guidance for iron, which is set at 0.3 mg/L to minimize any noticeable effects of rusty color, sediment, metallic taste, and reddish or orange staining. Values outside of this range mean the water may potentially look aesthetically unpleasant, but do not mean the water is unsafe to drink. The water is flushed from the pipes at the complex each morning to rid it of as much iron and other mineral elements that have built up overnight or over the weekend as possible. The water is also independently tested three times per week by MES both at the point of entry as it relates to the treatment facility and at each school. We have over the last week embarked on a more aggressive, consistent, and extensive flushing campaign at all three schools. Using larger pipes in the flushing and discharge process, we have seen a marked improvement in the clarity of the water. In fact, that data shows iron levels at 0.25 mg/L or lower at all three schools on four of the last five tested days.

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