How NOLA Public Schools is prepping for possible salt impact
NOLA Public Schools officials are working on plans to keep running "business as usual" should salt water impact the New Orleans-area water supply.
The big picture: The system is responsible for 43,000 students.
Catch up quick: Saltwater intrusion in the Mississippi River is threatening New Orleans' drinking water.
- Mitigation strategies are in the works to keep potable water flowing in homes and businesses, but concern among locals is still growing.
Where it stands: Water fountains in local schools already filter out microorganisms, lead and sediment, says NOLA Public Schools superintendent Avis Williams, but they do not filter salt.
The latest: Williams said at a press conference Tuesday that she is in contact with city and state officials as they monitor the salt's approach.
- She is also in touch with Jefferson Parish Schools superintendent James Gray should the two systems need to share information and resources, Williams says.
- NOLA Public Schools are monitoring potential impacts on drinking water, meal prep and infrastructure.
If needed, school officials will cover water fountains, purchase heat-and-eat meals and distribute bottled water for students and staff, Williams says.
- The Mahalia Jackson Center and McDonogh 35 Senior High School would serve as water distribution centers for the schools.
- Officials are also considering purchasing reverse osmosis filters for kitchen equipment.
- The biggest infrastructure concern, said NOLA Public Schools COO Don LeDuff, is the impact of salt water on HVAC systems, particularly if they are exposed to salt over a long period of time.
What's not happening: Williams does not expect schools to switch to remote teaching.
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