School districts, take advantage of state’s lead water testing

One of the basic wants of residents is that their community’s water supply — for drinking and bathing — is clean of harmful contaminants.

This is especially true in the wake of events in Flint, Michigan, where the city changed its water supply, and as a result corrosive water mixed with lead-contaminated pipes throughout the city’s water system. Subsequent tests revealed that children had been exposed to lead and raised health concerns.

Too much lead can damage the brain and kidneys and harm production of red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body.

Parents of students in the Bartholomew Consolidated and Flat Rock-Hawcreek school corporations should be heartened to learn, then, that both districts have been vigilant in making sure the water that both schools use is clean.

Bartholomew Consolidated has worked with the city of Columbus — the source of its water — and tests for lead and copper last year revealed no traces of either. The school district is planning for independent tests this year at Rockcreek, Mt. Healthy and Taylorsville elementary schools, which were not tested last year because they are supplied by Eastern Bartholomew Water Corp., and in district buildings each year.

Flat Rock-Hawcreek School Corp. has had independent tests conducted and no problems have been discovered.

While testing so far has shown no problems with the schools’ water supplies, both should take advantage of a free lead water sampling program provided by the state. The Indiana Finance Authority is offering the program to all public school districts statewide.

Participating in this program would provide an additional cross-check of recent testing, and added reassurance that previous results were accurate.

Considering the health of students and school staff, the program would be worth the time and effort involved.