Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Parents Demand New Tests of School Water

Parents and environmentalist groups want the EPA to conduct new tests on the water in Washington DC public schools. Parents argue that the school system and local government organizations, including the DC Water and Sewer Authority who distributes DC city water, have been using faulty testing methods in order to produce test results that misleadingly reflect low lead levels.

Past tests of the water in some DC schools have found that "30 to 80 percent of the water fountains and taps in five schools had elevated lead levels, ...[including] one kindergarten class [that] had a lead reading of 1200 ppb."

The EPA recommends that schools' drinking water should contain lead levels near 0 ppb, and these levels should not exceed 20 ppb.

Do you know what chemicals or contaminants are in your drinking water? Have you seen any evidence of water contamination? Can you think of any ways in which water sources can be contaminated?

You could write an article in which you present data about local drinking water contaminants, and include ways in which we can clean up our water sources or ways in which the community can prevent further contamination of these sources.
You could also record an interview with a principal or other school official in an effort to investigate the quality of the school's water. Along with your interview you could present possible ways in which the school can protect students from contaminated water.

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