Jan 03, 2007

Florida City Provides Schools With Bottled Water to Avoid Hazard

After officials noted potentially dangerous lead levels in the water supply in Everglades City, Fla., Collier County school officials brought in bottled water for the students.

Officials with U.S. Water first detected hazardous lead levels in the town’s water in samples collected back in June 2005.

Everglades school officials learned of the problem in a report sent to local residents. In response to the concerned expressed by parents that their children were drinking contaminated water, the School District disconnected the school’s drinking fountains and shipped in bottled water.

Eli Mobley, director of security and environmental management for the district, reported to Naples Daily News that the district has spent more than $2,500 on bottled water.

A report by U.S. Water shows that people drinking water with lead over many years may experience problems with their liver, kidneys or central nervous system, it may also increase the risk of cancer.

Students at the school were exposed to the contaminated water for about a year before the lead was discovered. Mobley told the Naples Daily News that he did not feel that the exposure was prolonged enough to do any damage.

Everglades School has 151 students, ranging from kindergarten to 12th grade.

U.S. Water officials are currently waiting on results from water tests conducted last summer. Mobley told Naples Daily News that he predicts that the volume of lead should be significantly decreased. However, the district will continue plying the school with water as long as necessary.