JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) – Recent tests performed at Jonesborough Middle School detected lead contamination.
According to Director of Schools Dr. Bill Flanary, one source of water in the cafeteria area was above the threshold of allowable lead particles.
Flanary says the water source has been removed from service and repairs will be made, but believes it may not be completely fixed by the time school starts back.
“Last night we got a report from our environmental lab– Winnfield Environmental, which is here local, letting us know that they have detected led contamination on other cites. This time it was focused on cafeterias and kitchens. We’re getting out in front of it and we’re making sure the cites have been shut down. It was kind of tough because we don’t have kids in school and we can’t put a letter in their hand. So we used every electronic and digital means we have,” said Flanary.
A letter was sent to parents of Jonesborough Middle School students notifying them of the lead testing results.
Flanary says additional testing will take place to determine where the contaminated water is coming from and isolate it from the rest of the water supply.
Earlier this year, lead was also detected at drinking fountains at other Washington County schools, including Boones Creek Elementary, West View Elementary, Gray Elementary, and Asbury Optional High School.
The Washinton Count Commission held a meeting Monday night where they voted on s sports complex at the new Boones Creek PreK-8 School. Parents voiced their opinions about both the baseball field and the lead found at Monday’s meeting.
“What made me want to come to this meeting was getting a letter from my daughter’s principal saying that the drinking water in her cafeteria is no longer safe. When I see on one hand that my kid doesn’t have safe drinking water and then theirs a meeting for a five million dollar ball field it hurts me,” said one parent.
Flanary said the reason that this source wasn’t found sooner was because of the number of sources that had to be tested. He said over 250 drinking fountains had to be tested in their schools.
Washinton County Schools begin classes in two weeks. The areas where the lead was found will not be accessible to students and faculty.