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Woodstock School District 200: Greenwood Elementary water test shows lowered arsenic levels

Levels found elevated in November, causing water fountains to be shut off

Updated water testing on the well at Greenwood Elementary School recently showed lowered arsenic levels, Woodstock School District 200 officials said Monday in a statement to parents.
Updated water testing on the well at Greenwood Elementary School recently showed lowered arsenic levels, Woodstock School District 200 officials said Monday in a statement to parents.

Updated water testing on the well at Greenwood Elementary School recently showed lowered arsenic levels, Woodstock School District 200 officials said Monday in a statement to parents.

The additional testing comes after a Dec. 5 announcement from the district that lab results showed arsenic levels higher than what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency deems acceptable in elementary school water.

Two tests in November showed levels at 32 parts per billion and
18 parts per billion, district officials said.

In 2001, the EPA set a standard for arsenic levels in public drinking water systems at 10 parts per billion.

School maintenance staff took samples Thursday from all three tanks used for water and received results that showed arsenic levels that range from 4 to 6 parts per billion.

The district tests its water quarterly. Results from March to October showed arsenic levels that were compliant with EPA standards, the district said.

“While the contamination is not an emergency for users, health officials state the long-term exposure to arsenic over many years could cause health issues, including skin damage [and] circulatory problems, and such long-term exposure could increase a person’s risk for cancer,” Superintendent Mike Moan said in a statement.

When the district learned of the elevated levels, officials shut off the water fountains, ceased to use the water for cooking and brought in bottled water. The district will not start to use the water for drinking again until it has two samples below the acceptable standard, the district said.

“District staff will continue to aggressively monitor the arsenic level with additional testing this week and in the future,” Moan said Monday.

The district will test the school water monthly going forward. Greenwood Elementary, 4618 Greenwood Road, is the only school in District 200 on a well. The school serves students in preschool through fifth grade and has an enrollment of about 300 students.

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