U.S. Water News Online
SEATTLE -- Arsenic found in five Seattle public school
water fixtures prompted the school district to order all drinking
water turned off in the schools, the superintendent said. Bottled
water will be provided.
Superintendent Raj Manhas took the action after tests showed
arsenic in the five fixtures exceeded the Environmental Protection
Agency allowable standard of 10 parts per billion, the district
announcement said. The readings ranged from 11ppb to 18 ppb.
Two and a half years ago, the district began a comprehensive
testing and repair program to ensure drinking water in the Seattle
schools meets guidelines set by the EPA and policy set by the Seattle
The district tests for lead as recommended by the EPA, plus
cadmium, copper and iron. As plumbing repairs are made, the district
tests water samples from each fixture before the system is turned
back on. This routine testing recently showed the presence of
Seattle public schools plan to test every source of drinking water
in the district for levels of arsenic.
The district has examined more than 300 locations in 57 schools,
and only five show arsenic above 10 ppb when using the EPA's sampling
There is no reason to think the water provided by Seattle Public
Utilities is the source of the arsenic, the school district
"Seattle Public Utilities can confirm that there are no detectable
levels of arsenic in Seattle's drinking water supply," said Dave
Hilmoe, the utility's director of drinking water.
The district is testing piping, fixtures and materials used in
plumbing and cleaning.
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