New Drinking Water Notice
November 23, 2020
We are pleased to announce that the Vermont Drinking Water & Groundwater Protection Division has lifted the “Do Not Drink” order at Thetford Academy, and our water is again safe for consumption. John Brown, Director of Buildings & Grounds shared the following official notification with employees on Friday, November 20. We are now sharing the news with the public via this news post on Monday, November 23.
PART 1: Vermont-required communication regarding the PFAS process to date.
The do not drink order at Thetford Academy went into place on December 24, 2019, when lab test results discovered PFOA/PFAS contamination above the State action level of 20 parts per trillion (ppt) in our domestic water system. Our levels at the time were at 45ppt. Over the past 11 months our consulting engineer has assisted us with additional water sampling, an alternative analysis report, filtration design and development, permitting assistance, and the updating of our water system operations manual.
In late September, our new filtration system was installed. The system uses granular activated carbon (GAC) to filter out PFOA/PFAS chemicals. Following the installation we sampled and tested the water with lab results showing no PFOA/PFAS chemicals detected. A second confirmation sample also returned with none detected. Moving forward, we will be testing for PFOA/PFAS chemicals on a quarterly basis to ensure that our filtration system continues to operate as designed.
PART 2: Specific COVID-related guidelines for accessing drinking water at TA.
Now that our water is safe to drink, the bottle filling stations around campus will be turned on. However, with sanitation concerns surrounding Covid, the water fountains will need to remain off. Paper cups will be supplied to each pod classroom and to offices. In an effort to reduce waste we ask that students and staff bring a reusable bottle or cup from home. Students wanting to leave their pod classroom to get water can do so under the same guidelines we currently follow for bathroom breaks this fall, which is one at a time.
Should anyone in the Thetford Academy community have questions or seek further information, please contact John Brown, [email protected].