Water Quality Update
This information was updated on June 29, 2022
Lead testing result letter from Superintendent McCombs is found HERE.
Lead is a metal found in nature that has been widely used over the years in gasoline, house paint, and plumbing fixtures. The amount of lead released into the environment each year has decreased steadily since the 1970s, when its negative effects on human health were discovered and its use regulated. Still, lead can be a problem for communities across the country, including some schools in Camden, where water pipes were fitted before the 1970s, and have not been replaced.
Lead can enter people's bodies in the food they eat, the air they breathe, and the water they drink. A person is exposed to lead whenever it enters their body, not by skin contact like washing hands. Too much lead in the human body can cause serious damage to the brain, nervous system, and red blood cells. Pregnant women and young children are at the greatest risk even when their exposure is to low levels of lead for short periods of time. Young children between the ages of six months and six years are more likely to suffer health problems from lead exposure.
It is possible for “new” fixtures installed in a new building to test positive for lead. For example, old stock can be indistinguishable from new stock and then delivered for installation in a new building. This underscores the importance of regular testing for lead in water and for taking immediate action to disconnect and replace water outlets when they test above the lead action level established by the EPA for lead in drinking water (15 μg/l [ppb]).
Too much exposure to lead can result in lead poisoning. Lead poisoning can slow a child's physical growth and mental development and can cause behavior problems. Consistent exposure to high levels of lead can cause mental retardation, kidney and liver damage, blindness, and even death. Read more about lead poisoning and how to prevent it here.
Yes, it is safe. There is no risk of exposure to lead through skin contact.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires all districts to take action when test results show higher than the 15 μg/L.
If you are concerned about lead exposure, you may want to ask your health care providers about testing your child to determine levels of lead in their blood.
In all buildings, except for the Camden High Campus, all fountains have been turned off and replaced with bottled water for drinking and food preparation.
The Camden High Campus was designed and built with the latest water filtration system and lead-free fixtures. To assure clean water delivery, all water outlets at the Camden High Campus are tested.
If a water outlet tests above the threshold, it is immediately disconnected, water bottles are provided, and the water outlet is replaced. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires all districts to take action when test results show higher than the 15 μg/L.
Visit The State of New Jersey’s Childhood Lead Taskforce to learn more about lead poisoning and how to keep your family safe.
Visit the DEP’s Drinking WaterWatch website here https://www9.state.nj.us/DEP_WaterWatch_public/ to check drinking water information about the water sources in your home. If you have any questions, contact the Bureau of Safe Drinking Water at 609-292-5550.