Environmental Health and Safety
Aug. 30, 2018 Water Testing Update

MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release: Aug. 30, 2018

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

continues proactive water testing

Middle and high schools built before 1989 are focus of second round


CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 30, 2018 — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools announced the second phase of voluntary water testing, planned to begin Sept. 24 and to be completed by Nov. 9. 

The second round of testing will include 17 high schools, 15 middle schools and three administrative sites, all built before 1989. The district said that adjustments to the schedule may be made as the process moves forward.

“This water quality effort is about being better safe than sorry because student and staff safety and well-bring are top priorities,” Dr. Clayton Wilcox, superintendent, said. “That is why we are continuing this voluntary water testing program in our schools. We’re starting with our schools built before 1989 because the EPA recommends this priority due to the age of buildings, plumbing and fixtures in them. As in the first round, we will continue to take action to keep water in schools safe.”

Increased Communications

The district will bolster communications related to the water quality program to ensure families, staff and the public are informed. Additional efforts will include letters to families, a dedicated web page and social media.

Before testing begins, CMS will send letters to families of students at the schools to be tested, informing them of the testing schedule. As results are available and any actions taken, subsequent letters will include expert data, analysis and descriptions in plain language of any actions taken and in what locations within each school.

To further increase access to this information, all letters, reports and results (when complete) will be shared on the district’s water-quality web page, which also includes a list of schools scheduled for testing (list also below).

Retained Third-Party Experts

The district has engaged AECOM, a certified independent environmental consulting firm, to conduct the second round of testing at 35 district sites. AECOM, a Charlotte-based firm, has already conducted water testing at 58 elementary schools at the district’s request. These first round results are available on the CMS Water Quality page. The cost of the second round of testing is estimated at $237,000.

Results from Round 1

The initial round of testing was conducted by AECOM at 58 older elementary schools. No water quality issues were identified that affected an entire school. "However, at 27 schools, the tests showed contaminants in the range identified by the Environmental Protection Agency as “alert levels” in some fixtures." All necessary repairs, replacements or removals have been made to specific fixtures such as faucets, spigots and water bubblers. Many of the fixtures with levels above EPA alert limits had been unused for long periods of time or were in areas inaccessible to students.

Experts available for review

Experts remain available to answer questions from any parent or staff member about results in their school by e-mailing ehs@cms.k12.nc.us.


CMS Schools to be Tested in Water Quality Program Round 2

  • Albemarle Road MS 
  • Alexander Graham MS 
  • Atrium (Education Center - CMS Main Admin Bldg) 
  • Bishop Spaugh 
  • Carmel MS 
  • Cochrane (iMeck Academy) 
  • Coulwood STEM Academy 
  • East Mecklenburg HS 
  • Eastway MS 
  • Garinger HS 
  • Harding University HS 
  • Hawthorne Academy of Health Sciences 
  • Independence HS 
  • JT Williams Montessori 
  • Kennedy MS 
  • Leadership Academy HS 
  • Myers Park HS 
  • North Mecklenburg HS 
  • Northeast MS 
  • Northwest School of the Arts 
  • Olympic HS 
  • Performance Learning Center (Derita ES) 
  • Piedmont Open MS 
  • Providence HS 
  • Quail Hollow MS 
  • Randolph MS 
  • Ranson MS 
  • Sedgefield MS 
  • Smith Family Center 
  • South Mecklenburg HS 
  • Villa Heights ES 
  • West Charlotte HS 
  • West Charlotte Project LIFT Academy (Graham Center) 
  • West Mecklenburg HS 
  • Wilson STEM Academy