MANSFIELD — Superintendent Teresa Murphy is pleased to announce that Mansfield Public Schools has been awarded a School Water Improvement Grant (SWIG) to replace water fixtures within the district.
The Board of Trustees for the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust awarded Mansfield Public Schools $36,000 as part of the School Water Improvement Grant program to replace fixtures at Qualters Middle School and Jordan/Jackson Elementary.
Mansfield Public Schools will use the grant to replace a total of 12 fixtures within the Qualters Middle School and Jordan/Jackson Elementary School. The 12 fixtures were selected based on testing previously conducted by the school department which revealed six water fixtures at Qualters and six water fixtures at Jordan/Jackson that were not compliant with the state limits for lead. All of these fixtures were water fountains and were immediately shut off.
The grant money will be used for the purchase and installation of bottle fill stations to replace the 12 traditional water fountains. The bottle fill stations were chosen by the district for their convenience of refilling eco-friendly bottles that students and faculty bring to school and for their filters that remove 99.9% of lead from the water.
The replacement of the fixtures is expected to be complete before the start of the new school year.
“We are extremely grateful to receive a grant that will allow us to ensure our students and staff are drinking the safest water possible,” said Superintendent Murphy. “With the funds provided by the The Board of Trustees for the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust, we plan on updating fixtures that will be available for use in our schools in the fall.”
A total of 36 school districts in Massachusetts received School Water Improvement Grants of varied amounts as part of an ongoing project to improve water quality for students and staff at schools. In total, The Board of Trustees for the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust granted a total of $675,000 to replace water fixtures. SWIG funds can be used for the procurement and installation of eligible fixtures, filters and replacement filters.
The goal of the SWIG program is to reduce lead in school drinking water to the lowest levels possible. The Massachusetts Clean Water Trust (the Trust) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) are offering the SWIG program to further incentivize schools to test their drinking water fixtures and remediate any lead exceedances that are detected by providing grants to replace fixtures that are above the remediation action level.