Keno Elementary School, Keno, Ore., will no longer need bottled water by this time next year
Students at Keno Elementary School in Keno, Ore., might no longer be drinking bottled water by this time next year.
The Klamath County School District board of directors recently approved a contract with Keno Water Co. to tap into a new well that will be dug to provide water to the school and part of the community, according to kgw.com.
The new well would replace two bad wells, said Mike Neuman, chairman of the water company.
Keno students have been drinking bottled water provided by the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The agency said in a press release that it does not consider short-term exposure to the current water source to be a health risk, and the water has been used for food preparation.
Water quality has been an ongoing problem in the small, southern Oregon community. Well water in the downtown area, for example, has shown the presence of a gasoline fuel additive for years because old, underground gasoline tanks leaked into an aquifer.
Construction of the new well is scheduled to begin this summer, with the school hooking up by late 2008. The agency will pay $150,000 to connect the school to the water line. The school's average bill will be about $150 per month, but the DEQ will pay for any costs above that amount for the first two years, according to kgw.com.
The entire project would cost about $1 million, according to Neuman. Money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Fund will pay for everything but the school's hookup costs.