Williamston Community Schools’ water being tested

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By Kelsey Clements
The Williamston Post

The water in all of Williamston’s schools is being tested as a precautionary action, school officials say.

Narda Murphy, superintendent for Williamston Community Schools, said that the school is working with Testing Engineers & Consultants Inc. to test the water.

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Ingham County health officer, Linda Vail talks about the water testing in Ingham County schools. Photo by Kelsey Clements

Greg Talberg, one of the trustees on Williamston’s School board, asked at the Jan. 18 School Board meeting if the water at the middle school had been tested yet, according to unapproved minutes from the meeting.

Talberg said in an interview this week that he asked the question due to what is happening with the Flint water crisis and due to a strange odor and taste in Williamston Middle School’s water.

“It is just some precautionary procedures due to Flint,” said Talberg. “I am confident that the administration is handling it and doing its best to keep students and faculty safe.”

According to Williamston School Board member Joel Gerring, water testing is different for each district. The water quality permits vary for each school district and community.

Gerring said that most schools assume that the water is safe and that the water will only be tested if there is a warning or if something major happens, such as in Flint.

“There has been discussion about when Williamston’s Middle School was last tested, but as of what we know right now, it’s fine,” said Gerring.

According to Gerring, there is no law that states that schools must test the water regularly, or that it even must get checked in general.

However, Linda Vail, Ingham County Health Officer said that many schools have decided to do some testing and two schools in the county, Glencairn Elementary and Mason Elementary, have had positive lead results.

Murphy said that the water is being tested in all of Williamston Schools’ buildings, but the results are not available yet.

The process is to analyze the results, communicate to the Board of Education and, if results indicate the need, create a plan, most likely solution is a preventative Fleck 5600SXT water treatment system. ” said Murphy.

Murphy later said that she doesn’t have any further concerns.

Scott Chandler, manager of Industrial Hygiene Services Department for Testing Engineers & Consultants Inc. said that they have done some preliminary testing so far.

“We have issued a report about some screening sampling that has been done,” said Chandler. “We are looking at that info and discussing what the next step will be.”

When asked for the report and the actual results, Chandler declined.

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