FOWLER TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – A slight elevation in arsenic levels at a Trumbull County school prompted a report to the Environmental Protection Agency and an alert to parents.
A recent test of the water at Currie Elementary School, in the Mathews School District, revealed an elevated level of arsenic. The EPA standard for arsenic is 10 parts per billion, and the water at the school tested at 11 parts per billion.
Experts say arsenic levels at 500 parts per billion is hazardous for skin contact and deadly at 600,000 parts per billion. The EPA standard was 50 parts per billion, but that was reduced to 10 parts per billion in 2001.
The tests of the water at Currie Elementary School were conducted by Cardinal Laboratories, which is contracted to monitor the school’s well water. The lab is then required to report the findings to the EPA.
Superintendent Lew Lowery said the sampling came between the second week of December and the second week of January, when the school was switching water monitoring companies. He said protocol to correct the slightly elevated levels is chlorine treatment, and that has already begun.
Trash bags were taped over the water fountains with signs reading, “Do not drink” on Wednesday, and students were supplied with bottled water as a precaution.
Cardinal Laboratories told Lowery that cooking and washing with the water is not harmful.
The water will be tested again Thursday, and the new results are expected back by the beginning of next week.