Clovis Unified taking steps to make sure students returning to school will have safe drinking water

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Despite concerns about corroded pipes and discolored water in homes, the school district doesn't believe there will be a problem in schools. (KFSN)

The drinking fountains at Clovis schools haven't been running over the summer. Come Monday, when school gets back into session, the water should be flowing again. And despite concerns about corroded pipes and discolored water in homes, the school district doesn't believe there will be a problem in schools.

"Based on the data we have to date, based on the research we have done, we don't see there's any call to question the quality of the water at those schools," said Kelli Avants, Clovis Schools Spokesperson.

Testing was done last spring at six schools-- Copper Hills, Fort Washington, Valley Oak, Riverview, Liberty, and Fugman.

Avants said, "All those results came back either completely non-existent for anything in the water or very, very, light trace amounts far below actionable levels that the EPA recommends."

Fixtures in those schools, where trace amounts were found, were replaced. Seven other schools will be tested one week after school starts. Those schools are Clovis West, Kastner, Lincoln, Mountain View, Maple Creek, Clovis North, and Ed Center.

City Public Utilities Director Thomas Esqueda explains the delay in testing comes because, under EPA guidelines, the tests must be made under normal conditions, when water is flowing.

"We have to have the water not moving in the system six hours prior, but not more than 12 hours prior, so there's a window there. So by the time school starts we will get the water moving and start to meet those parameters."

While the water is expected to be okay, Clovis Unified will provide bottled water stations for those who are concerned.

"But just as a safeguard, and for those parents who want to have confidence when their kids are at school, we are going to have some bottled water available on those campuses that kids can use until such time we have those testing data actually in our hands that say we are fine," said Avants.

Those test results should take a couple of weeks.

There are a lot of questions about the water in Northeast Fresno. The city has brought in water experts, health experts, and the EPA at Wednesday night's meeting to answer those questions about corrosive water, damaged plumbing, and lead in the water.
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