HPS receives grant to replace water fountains

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A $33,000 state grant will allow Hopkinton schools to replace 11 water fountains that were shut down after lead was detected in them.

Water bottle filling stations will be purchased and installed using the grant, which is provided through the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust School Water Improvement Grant program.

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The grant provides Hopkinton High School with $24,000 to replace eight fountains, Hopkinton Middle School with $6,000 to replace two fountains, and Elmwood School with $3,000 to replace one fountain.

Hopkinton Public Schools voluntarily had water in schools tested in 2016 due to concerns about older fixtures and aging infrastructure.

The affected fountains were immediately shut down in the 2016-17 school year, Hopkinton Public Schools superintendent Carol Cavanaugh said.

The next phase of the work will be to replace all the fixtures over the summer break, provided the grant is funded prior to the start of the 2020-21 school year, Cavanaugh said, adding that she expects the award to arrive soon.

“We will monitor the drinking water with our testing program and our partnership with the Hopkinton Water Department,” Cavanaugh said. “This way we can ensure that our delivered water is of the highest quality.”

The SWIG program is designed to encourage communities to perform lead testing and address elevated levels with the help of state experts, according to information provided by the state.

Once schools have tested their drinking water for lead, any drinking water fixtures that tested positive are eligible for grant funding for filtered water bottle filling stations.
“We are so grateful to be receiving these grant funds,” Cavanaugh said.

The SWIG program is a follow-up to the state’s Assistance Program for Lead in School Drinking Water that was launched in 2016. The program paid for schools to test their drinking water for the presence of lead.

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