Pierre School District staff were finishing up the installation process on some 60 reverse osmosis water filtration systems Tuesday.
The roughly $17,000 project was forced on the district a little less than two weeks ago when the City of Pierre announced a water consumption advisory on the city’s drinking water supply. The advisory itself was issued March 27 because the federal Environmental Protection Agency is the process of updating its guidelines on how much manganese should be in drinking water.
There are 51 drinking fountains in the district’s schools, all of which were shut down on March 27 while the district worked to install reverse osmosis filters in them. The filters for the fountains cost about $300 each, said Darla Mayer district business manager. Another 10 R.O. filters were installed on sinks certain classrooms such as the Pro Start Kitchen at T.F. Riggs and the Family and Consumer Science classroom at Georgia Morse Middle School. The sink filter systems cost about $150 each, Mayer said.
A few more filter systems may yet be installed for sinks in nurses offices or other areas with sinks where water might be used for drinking, Mayer said.
Mayer said installing water softeners at the district’s school wasn’t an option.