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Category Archives: Water Testing

Dangerous Lead in Minnesota Schools

Kids at Risk: Minnesota Schools Failing to Follow Guidelines on Testing for Lead in Water

September 08, 2016 11:17 AM

School officials across Minnesota are knowingly putting thousands of children at serious risk by not following guidelines on testing for lead in water and not fixing water systems that they know are defective, a 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS investigation has found.

Our news staff poured over the water testing records of more than 600 Minnesota schools and found at least one out of every four of those schools are not following the state’s recommendations that a school be tested at least once every five years. We found some schools that have not been tested for lead since the late 1990s.

When looking at the reports in the map embedded below, keep in mind the Minnesota Department of Health’s guideline for schools: If lead is at or below 20 parts per billion (ppb), the tap may be used for drinking water or food preparation. If lead exceeds 20 ppb, twice daily flushing should be done.

School districts are not on the hook for exposing children to increased health risks by having high amounts of lead in water, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS found: The Minnesota Department of Health only recommends that schools test each tap or fixture providing water at least every five years.

And, it appears the department is lax when it comes to its oversight of monitoring schools that have gone long periods of not testing water. For example, records show Minneapolis Public Schools has not tested at least 31 of its schools since 1998. A district alternative school for pregnant and parenting students – Longfellow School – was last tested for lead amounts in 1998, according to district records.

“It’s a little surprising to me to hear that there are systems that have not been tested for very long periods of time,” Assistant Commissioner of Health Paul Allwood said. “I should point out that our guidelines are voluntary,” Allwood added. “That’s what we’re discussing – should there be additional authority.”

Document: MDH Guidance on Reducing Lead in Drinking Water

Minnesota communities that receive municipal water already test for lead in the system but health officials suggest schools test due to possible lead solder, brass fixtures, water usage and age of materials that could be in the water system students could drink from.

Dr. Marc Edwards, the nation’s leading authority on lead amounts in water, said in an interview that lead amounts of more than 20 parts per billion (ppb) is a critical health concern. Edwards is a professor at the Virginia Tech University and led the outcry over the recent contaminated water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

KSTP reporter Eric Chaloux went to Edwards’ lab on campus on in Blacksburg, Virginia, to learn more.

“Parents really need to hold schools’ feet to the fire to make sure this problem is fixed,” Edwards said. It costs as little as $30 to fix the problem when it comes to water fountains and high amounts of lead coming out of them, he said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently stated school water fountains should not exceed water lead concentrations of more than 1 ppb.

In our records review, news reporters and producers found that school children from Burnsville, Savage and Eagan – District 191 – were exposed to lead levels up to 942 ppb from one drinking fountain tested in 2013. That amount ranks as one of highest contaminant levels detected in the records reviewed. That fountain is at Joseph Nicollet Junior High School in Burnsville.

“One drink from that fountain, that’s a health concern,” Edwards said when he reviewed those specific results.

More more infomation:
http://kstp.com/news/minnesota-schools-water-lead-investigation-testing-guidelines-minnesota-department-of-health/4257404/?cat=1

What is in your water?

FREE Water Testing !
There could be many things lurking in your water that you do not know about. Call Minnesota Water today for a FREE total dissolved solids (TDS) water testing.

TDS affects everything that consumes, lives in or uses water, from fish and planets to plumbing and laboratories.

For people, the lower the TDS level in the water you drink, the more efficiently your body’s cells are hydrated. The higher the TDS level in the water, the greater the probability of harmful contaminants that can pose health risks or hinder the absorption of water in the body.

Why Should You Measure the TDS Level in Your Water?
The EPA Secondary Regulations advise a maximum contamination level (MCL) of 500mg/liter (500 parts per million (ppm)) for TDS. Numerous water supplies exceed this level. When TDS levels exceed 1000mg/L it is generally considered unfit for human consumption. A high level of TDS is an indicator of potential concerns, and warrants further investigation. Most often, high levels of TDS are caused by the presence of potassium, chlorides and sodium. These ions have little or no short-term effects, but toxic ions (lead arsenic, cadmium, nitrate and others) may also be dissolved in the water.
Even the best water purification systems on the market require monitoring for TDS to ensure the filters and/or membranes are effectively removing unwanted particles and bacteria from your water.
The following are reasons why it is helpful to constantly test for TDS:

Taste/Health
High TDS results in undesirable taste which could be salty, bitter, or metallic. It could also indicate the presence of toxic minerals. The EPA’s recommended maximum level of TDS in water is 500mg/L (500ppm).
Filter performance
Test your water to make sure the reverse osmosis or other type of water filter or water purification system has a high rejection rate and know when to change your filter (or membrane) cartridges.
Hardness (and Water Softeners)
High TDS indicates Hard water, which causes scale buildup in pipes and valves, inhibiting performance.
Aquariums/Aquaculture
A constant level of minerals is necessary for aquatic life. The water in an aquarium or tank should have the same levels of TDS and pH as the fish and reef’s original habitat.
Hydroponics
TDS is the best measurement of the nutrient concentration in a hydroponic solution.
Pools and spas
TDS levels must be monitored to prevent maintenance problems.
Commercial/Industrial
High TDS levels could impede the functions of certain applications, such as boilers and cooling towers, food and water production and more.
Colloidal silver water
TDS levels must be controlled prior to making colloidal silver.
Coffee and Food Service
For a truly great cup of coffee, proper TDS levels must be maintained.
Car Washing and Window Cleaning
Have a washer with a spotless rinse? An inline dual TDS monitor will tell you when to change the filter cartridge or RO membrane.
For more information go to www.tdsmeter.com

Minnesota Water’s purification systems are an excellent alternative to traditional bottled jugs as well as bottleless water coolers. Our state of the art filtration systems transforms your tap water through a four stage reverse osmosis process into pure, clean, refreshing drinking water. Minnesota Water proudly serves the 7 county metro area including Minneapolis, St. Paul, Eden Prairie, Bloomington, Prior Lake, Eagan, Apple Valley, Woodbury, White Bear Lake, Blaine, Wright, Stearns, Sherburne, Isanti, Chisago, Meeker, and surrounding areas.