Contaminants Found in Water at South Oak Cliff High School, District Says Water is Safe

Dallas Independent School District confirms tests performed on water at South Oak Cliff High School revealed certain levels of contaminants, including lead. However, those levels fall well below levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency which would require action.

Two tests were conducted, one in the spring and one in the summer, according to Dallas ISD leaders. Results from the summer test are just back, and currently under review. 

Samples collected in the spring reveal the highest level of lead taken from one of four sources, two water fountains and two faucets, was well below the EPA action level for public water systems of 0.015 mg/L at 0.00096 mg/L, according to Dallas ISD leaders.

"Although there were several contaminants identified in concentrations above the EPA recommended levels, none of the identified contaminants in the water samples exceeded the regulatory action levels (or maximum containment levels)," said a summary of the spring report.

The recommended level for lead is zero. However, that's extremely difficult, if not impossible to obtain, according to Kim McGraw with EFI Global, the environmental company tasked with collecting and analyzing water samples at South Oak Cliff High School.

""The water is safe, no problem, absolutely," McGraw said.

But, various groups aren't so sure. They say because of history of issues at South Oak Cliff High School and a lack of trust with the district, they want additional testing completed by an independent party. 

Members of the NAACP Dallas unit, South Oak Cliff Parents Coalition and Dallas SW Coalition For Better Public Schools gathered in front of the school Tuesday to call for more action. 

Below is what the groups are demanding:

  1. Contaminate testing on all old DISD school building prior to the 2016-2017 school year
  2. Testing should be done by independent outside vendor, and DISD should pay for the test
  3. Water contingency plan for staff, student and employees should be put in place immediately for the 2016-2017 school year ,and remain until independent lead test are completed
  4. Free Lead blood testing for students ,staff ,employee in affected schools buildings .
  5. A review of DISD contaminate Testing data records over past 20 years
  6. Implement the Parsons report that identifies these affected schools as in need of serious infrastructure repair

The district did bring in bottled water over the summer out of an abundance of caution, and said they will do the same if needed when school begins.

However, they emphasize tests show the water is safe.

The district is reaching out to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for further guidance.

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