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Water quality in RB schools getting expert's examination

by Daniel Blackburn

Redondo Beach school officials are looking for lead in all the right places - campus water supplies - but have yet to find any indication of a problem.

Assistant Supt. for Administrative Services Tom Cox said this week that water supplies in all schools in the Redondo Beach Unified School District will be tested for lead and other toxic or cancer-causing substances.

A private water quality consultant has been retained and has started the analysis process, said Cox.

Testing of water was spurred by inquiries of a worried mother, Edie Potvin of Redondo Beach. Two of her school-age children attend Lincoln Elementary School, and Potvin and some teachers were concerned by discolored water that sometimes issued forth from aging galvanized pipes carrying water to student drinking fountains.

Potvin made an appearance earlier this month before district trustees to express her concerns, suggesting that other parents of children at the school "might want to send bottled water for their children's consumption." She said the decrepit condition of water pipes due to age "almost guarantees" that quality and safety of the water has been compromised.

Cox said that water from pipes at Lincoln School was tested first and found to be free of lead.

"Everything looked good," said Cox, adding that the water tested "above EPA standards."

Cox said, "We will get back the results (of the district-wide testing) and see what there is. I don't expect a problem with lead, because lead has not been a problem in California schools."

School districts all over the state are doing testing of water supplies, said Cox.

"The state has been very encouraging to schools regarding water testing," he added.

A report on the water quality consultant's progress will be made to the board at its Oct. 26 meeting, said Cox. ER



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