Two schools in Rochester Hills, Mich., have reopened after tests determined that water samples collected at the schools did not contain high levels of mercury.
The Rochester Post reports Paragon Laboratories — a state-certified drinking water testing facility — was called in to assess the water after the Rochester Community School District learned that a water sample taken from a Van Hoosen Middle School science room during a experiment contained high levels of mercury.
As a precaution, the district immediately disabled the drinking water at Van Hoosen and nearby Adams High School and closed the campuses while further testing was conducted.
Paragon Laboratories tested the water at both schools, and no mercury was detected, says Jeffery Raymond, of Paragon.
Raymond says the initial testing — in which samples were collected by a teacher and sent to a colleague at Arizona State University for testing — was not conducted by certified personnel: the samples were not tested at a lab certified for testing water quality, and the process was not performed by a state or federally approved method.
Rochester district superintendent Robert Shaner says the incident was a “great inconvenience” for the community.
“We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our community, but we thought it was very important to maintain and assure the safety of our students,” he says.