On November 6, 2019

Test finds chemicals in KMS’ water

Area schools continue to be tested this week

By Katy Savage

Killington Mountain School is awaiting test results from a second water test after an initial test on Sept. 26 found elevated chemicals in the water supply.

The test found Killington had 27.2 parts per trillion of PFAs, which is above the state limit of 20 ppt.

PFAs, or perfluoroalkyl substances, are manmade chemicals found in products that keep food from sticking to cookware, make clothes and carpets stain-resistant and create firefighting foam, for example.

A second drinking water test was conducted at KMS Monday, Nov. 4.  KMS assistant head of school Dave Willis said it will take up to a month to get the results back. The average of the two tests will be used to determine what steps the school needs to take next.

“When the test comes back, we’ll deal with the results accordingly,” Willis said, explaining water filtration devices may be necessary.

“Obviously we want all of our water systems to be as healthy as possible,” Willis said. “I’m a huge proponent of drinking tap water…We’ll do whatever we need to do to be as healthy as needs to be.”

He said those who use the water supply have all been notified about the results. Students and staff continue to drink the water in the meantime.

“The state has pretty specific guidelines and they haven’t issued a ‘do not drink,’” Willis said.

Willis said the students and staff that use the water system range from 75 people to 120 people per day.

Drinking requirements at the school changed about two years ago when the school became a  full year-round campus.

The school’s water has been tested monthly with the outside firm Simon Operation Services for the past two years, but this was the first time KMS was required to test for PFAs under a new state law.

Act 21, which the governor signed May 16, gives until Dec. 1 for all public water systems and non transient, non-community water systems to be tested.

Bryan Redmond, the state’s drinking water and groundwater protection division director,  said about 590 water systems are required to test for PFAs under the act. As of last week, only about 25% had completed the test, Redmond explained.

“We have a ways to go,” he said. “We’re approaching the deadline.”

The drinking water at all Windsor Central Supervisory Union schools will be tested this week.

As part of the law, Redmond’s office is also required to create rules for drinking water with PFAs.

A draft proposal of the rules is being presented in the State House this week, he said.

The draft establishes a maximum contaminant level of 20 ppt for drinking water.

“We  are going to gain a better understanding of the water systems in the state,” he said.

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