The Silicon Valley Voice

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Santa Clara Unified School District Lead-Free

During the 2018-2019 school year, the Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) finished its lead testing for all schools in the district.

SCUSD started its preliminary stages of testing for lead in April 2018. Now, the results are in for all schools.

“We were really pleased with the results of the sampling program,” said Jennifer Dericco, Public Information Officer for the SCUSD.” We are happy to say that now all samples and fixtures are non-lead detected.”

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Testing for the rest of the district started in September and ended in December. None of the schools with the initial testing and sampling came above the required remediation and action level of five parts per billion.

Only three schools showed lead detection, Bracher Elementary, Scott Lane Elementary and Sutter Elementary school, but were below the state’s requirements. SCUSD took it a step further to ensure the safety of their students to ensure no lead in their water.

“We do have our own protocol internally. We hold ourselves to a higher standard than what the law does,” said Dericco. “Our process is to resample and then replace or repair the fixture until it shows a result of lead not detected.”

The three schools that showed lead exposure got retested. During the retesting process, none of the detected fixtures were available to the students or the staff as a safety measure.

“During this time none of those fixtures were in service,” said James Bakos, Director of Maintenance and Ground Operations for the SCUSD. “When we did the testing and realized that it was above, we took it out immediately.”

According to Bakos, the district did not put the fixtures back in service until there was no detectable lead.

The testing was done in a timely manner and everyone involved made it a priority to fix issues found.

“Once we reported a lead detection to the City, they got out here pretty quick and took care of the problem,” stated Backos. “The water and utility departments from the cities of Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, and San Jose were fantastic and supported us 100 percent. They were all very professional.”

Dericco stated that the district continues to ensure that the safety of their students and faculty is a priority through the bond programs.

“The reason we were able to have such low detect numbers was that we have the support of our communities through our general obligation bonds,” said Dericco. “Through these bond programs, we are able to replace pipes and fixtures.”

For the full results of the water testing: https://www.santaclarausd.org/Page/2232

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