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Majority of schools pass water test at new, lower threshold

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Test results from 96 of the more than 100 schools affected by the chemical leak into the Elk River show Crude MCHM at levels below 2 parts per billion -- the state's latest "water safety threshold," the Department of Education said Tuesday.

Results for the remaining schools are expected in the next few days.

Last week, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin called for schools to be tested at a lower threshold for the chemical. The state's "rapid response team" had been clearing schools where water showed MCHM at less than 10 ppb.

That initial 10 ppb standard set by Tomblin is 100 times stricter than the level recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

H.E. White Elementary School in Clay County was the only school to test "right at the 2ppb standard," the Department of Education said in a release Tuesday, and the school's faucets were to be re-flushed and retested.

However previous test results show that H.E. White samples had been above that 2 ppb threshold since two weeks ago.

On Feb. 11, the school showed levels of 5.49 ppb, and the day prior, showed levels as high as 5.38 ppb.

The National Guard -- part of the response team -- is also working with the Queen Shoals Public Service District in Clay County to flush hydrants around H. E. White Elementary, the release said.

Water test results are posted on the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management website at http://www.dhsem.wv.gov/Pages/WV-American-Water-Emergency.aspx.

Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.mays@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4814.

 

 


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