Video Link to the November 29, 2017 Town Hall Meeting

 

 

November 15, 2017

Dear RPS families, community, and staff:

This morning, in a meeting with officials from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Kent County Health Department (KCHD), I received Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) – water quality testing results for the well water samples from Cannonsburg, Crestwood, and Lakes Elementary Schools.

I have been advised that there is no public health risk. The MDHHS (Michigan Department of Health and Human Services) “concludes that no apparent public health hazard exists and no immediate additional work is needed at these locations.”  Also the DEQ concluded that there are no known or suspected PFAS sources in the area surrounding Cannonsburg, Crestwood, and Lakes Elementary Schools. The testing was done out of an abundance of caution.

The instrumentation used to test our samples is extremely sensitive and, because the equipment is so sensitive, it can detect trace levels of the PFOA and PFOS compounds.

The levels at Cannonsburg, Crestwood, Lakes Elementary Schools ranged from 0.891 ppt through 1.25 ppt, well below the levels established by the Environmental Protection Agency Life Time Health Advisory Level of 70 ppt.

Again, we requested these samples as a precautionary measure and are informing you of the results.  We will voluntarily test our wells annually and publish the results on our website.

If you have questions or concerns about the water issue in general, you may wish to attend a town hall meeting hosted by the Kent County Health Department on Wednesday, November 29 at 6 p.m. at the Rockford Freshman Center.  Officials from several agencies will be available prior to and during the meeting starting at 4:30 p.m. to address specific concerns.  Arrangements are pending to provide a live feed of the meeting, and information will be posted on the KCHD website.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions.  I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.

Dr. Mike Shibler

Superintendent of Schools

 

 

October 25, 2017 – Wolverine Worldwide Announces Safe Water Results for East Rockford Middle School

 

October 25, 2017 – I have received the analytical report from Rose & Westra, the company assigned to have the water quality tested at East Rockford Middle School. I am happy to report that there were no PFAS detected in the water at ERMS. This is great news!

Beginning Wednesday morning, the water at ERMS will be reinstated and there will be no need to continue the use of bottled water.

As a precautionary measure, we have had samples of water from Cannonsburg, Crestwood, and Lakes elementary schools sent in for testing. The reason being, like ERMS, those three schools also use wells for water. I will notify you as soon as I receive those test results.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Dr. Michael Shibler

 

 

October 20, 2017 – As communicated last week, I requested the MDEQ test the well water at Cannonsburg, Crestwood, and Lakes Elementary Schools as a precautionary measure because of the recent concerns regarding the quality of well water in several areas within our school district.

Test samples were taken this morning and are being sent to a laboratory for evaluation. We are told we will receive the results in a couple of weeks. As soon as I receive those findings, I will promptly communicate them.

We greatly appreciate everyone’s patience while the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the Kent County Health Department, and Rockford Public Schools continue to work together to ensure the safety of staff and students.

Sincerely,

Dr. Michael Shibler

Superintendent of Schools

 

 

October 13, 2017 – As you know, we are awaiting test results for water at East Rockford Middle School in follow-up to the location of a Wolverine dump site near that school.  Bottled water will continue to be provided as long as necessary, and I will share the results with you once they become available to me.

The ongoing situation in our community has understandably heightened awareness and worries among residents about the quality of water.  I, too, am concerned not only about what we know, but what we may not know.  Therefore, I am working with the MDEQ to test the water at our remaining schools that use well water.  Those schools are Cannonsburg, Crestwood, and Lakes Elementary Schools.  We will have samples taken and submitted for testing as soon as possible and will let you know those results, as well as the results of the East RMS water test.  (*Note, there is no indication that there is a problem with water at these schools necessitating bottled water.  We are testing the water supply to be proactive.)

Our remaining nine schools are supplied municipal water through either Plainfield Township or the City of Rockford, who both conduct regular testing of their water supplies.  Our schools using municipal water are Belmont, Meadow Ridge Parkside, Roguewood, and Valley View Elementary Schools; North Rockford Middle School; the Rockford Freshman Center and Rockford High School; and River Valley Academy.  We have every reason to believe that those water supplies are safe since they are managed and tested by their respective municipalities.

Again, this has been very unsettling for all of us and I want to assure you that I will continue to advocate for the safety of your children in this and all matters.

Thank you for your patience and we will send information to you as soon as possible.

Dr. Michael Shibler

Superintendent of Schools

 

 

October 12, 2017 – Late Wednesday afternoon, I was notified by the DEQ, the Kent County Health Department, and Wolverine Worldwide that a disposal area containing leather and rubber scraps has been located between 9 and 10 Mile Roads, approximately ½ mile northeast of East Rockford Middle School.

My immediate concern is the safety of students and staff at East RMS.  Therefore, out of an abundance of caution, all drinking fountains will be disabled and Wolverine will provide bottled water to the school starting Thursday morning for consumption and cooking, and will do so until we know the status of our well water.

Wolverine and the DEQ took water samples from our well yesterday, and the results are being expedited and expected to be available within two weeks.  As soon as those are provided to me, I will communicate them to you.

Please be assured that until we receive the test results, only bottled water will be used for consumption and cooking at the school.  I have been assured that this only affects the use of water for consumption and not by contact.

Again, once we receive the results about the quality of the water, I will promptly provide those to you.

Thank you,

Michael S. Shibler

Superintendent of Schools