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Elizabeth Bluemink

Radium testing in local schools is expanding. The Escambia County School District will test for radium in drinking water at five schools in addition to Cordova Park Elementary, officials said.

“We aren’t expecting any problems,” said Steven Sharp, safety, health and environmental coordinator for the School District. He said the testing will begin within days.

The decision was made to test the schools because, like Cordova Park, they are served by the Escambia County Utilities Authority’s Hagler well, which has reported high levels of radium in the past.

The School District recently requested that the ECUA provide a list of schools, in addition to Cordova Park, that receive water from the Hagler well, Sharp said.

Recent tests commissioned by the School District showed that the Cordova Park school’s drinking water does not contain unsafe levels of radium, but additional testing was planned in conjunction with the Florida Department of Health.

The Hagler well now meets all health requirements, but it is blended with water from another ECUA well before it goes to water customers.

The schools that will be tested include: Cook Elementary School. Suter Elementary School. Bibbs Elementary School. Simms Elementary School. Clubbs Middle School.

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