Thursday, June 15, 2017


As the South Orange Maplewood School District continues to deal with the recent revelation that nine drinking water sources in five different schools were found to have unsafe lead levels, it turns out testing data from three other water sources at a sixth school was lost.

Superintendent John Ramos sent a note to South Orange Middle School parents informing them that three water fountains in that school were shutdown after data on their lead levels was misplaced.

See his note below:

Dear SOMS Community,

We have closed off 3 water sources at SOMS as a precaution. We did not receive test results for these 3 sources, since the samples were lost in transit to the testing company. Although the sources did not test positive for lead, we would rather err on the side of caution, so have shut down these sources while we retest them.  

The other water samples at SOMS all tested below the lead action level established by the US Environmental Protection Agency for lead in drinking water (15 µg/l [ppb]).

SOMS is being provided with bottled water for the remaining days of school.

We realize that families and staff will be concerned at the possibility of exposure to elevated lead levels, and we are working to complete the retesting as quickly as possible. We will advise the community of the results for these three water sources as soon as they are available.

Dr. John J. Ramos, Sr.

This update follows Monday's revelation that recent tests showed some drinking water sources at Maplewood Middle School, Tuscan, Seth Boyden, South Mountain school and annex, and Underhill Field had lead levels above the accepted 15ppm, with one water fountain at Seth Boyden showing a high 444ppm.

As the district seeks to respond to the issue, bottled water has been provided at each school and a community forum to discuss the matter is set for 10 a.m. Saturday at Seth Boyden School.

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