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Testing at Okemos Public Montessori

The following timeline shows when water was tested at OPM and when the district received test results:

OPM tested on:
May 4, 2016
October 19 and November 8. 2023
November 22, 2023
December 4, 2023
December 5, 2023
January 27, 2023
OPM results received on:
June 21, 2016
November 16, 2023
November 22, 2023
December 5, 2023
December 7, 2023
January 27, 2023


The Ingham County Health Department clarified when to seek a blood lead test for your student if you would like to have them tested.

“A blood lead test can tell if a person has had recent or ongoing exposures to lead. While the lead in the body will decrease gradually after exposure stops, those who have concerns regarding recent or ongoing lead exposure should receive a blood lead test.” 

Our communications reflect the guidance we received from the environmental health and childhood lead experts at the health department and from the environmental testing company ERG. We continue to share and seek feedback on our communications with them throughout the process. As a district, we recognize where our expertise ends and where we need their support.

Click the ICHD communication button above or click here to read more information on timing and type of blood lead testing, handwashing, and more.

2024 Testing

January 2024: After weeks of flushing the water, another round of follow up lead water testing was conducted in late January. Environmental Resources Group strategically selected and sampled seven classrooms - all sinks with drinking water. 

​All but one of the rooms tested undetectable for lead, with Room 131 results being 1 ppb, which is below the Filter First action limit of 5 ppb.


January 27, 2024

Room 104 - Kara Thurber (Catalpa) = undetected

Room 107 - Beth Lieber (Mulberry) = undetected

Room 116 - Jennifer Schlicher (Apple Blossom) = undetected

Room 119 - Holly Heie (Red Cedar) = undetected

Room 121 - Kelly Bertilrud (Paw Paw) = undetected

Room 131 - Marcia Morehead (Oak) =  1 ppb

Room 135 - Haley Blake = undetected

All bottle fillers = undetected

After this round of testing, ERG believes the results show that the daily flushing is working to coat the pipes as intended and recommends to continue daily flushing.


ERG is also working with the Ingham County Health Department to set the frequency and scope for future lead water testing at OPM.

2023 Testing

December 2023: The next round of water testing was further expanded to include water in all of the rooms that had not yet been tested and the rooms that previously tested positive for lead. The Environmental Resource Group (ERG) conducted this and subsequent rounds of environmental testing at OPM.

Most of the rooms tested positive for lead water, with half being above the OPS action limit of 5 ppb. The rest tested undetectable or below 5 ppb. The district continued to follow the guidelines posted above from EGLE and recommendations from the Ingham County Health Department.


December 4, 2023

Room 116 - Jennifer Schlicher (Apple Blossom) = 14 ppb ↑

Room 117 - Rachel Krier = 10 ppb

Room 118 - Erin Gould (Sycamore) = 4 ppb

Room 119 - Holly Heie (Red Cedar) = 6 ppb ↑

Room 120 - Mary Wier (Tulip Tree) = undetected

Room 124B - Rebecca Wieger = 3 ppb

Room 124D - Jamie DeLong = 3 ppb

Library - Sally Langley = 6 ppb (no drinking water)

Room 131 - Marcia Morehead (Oak) = 5 ppb


December 5, 2023

Room 121 - Kelly Bertilrud (Paw Paw) = 49 ppb ↑

Follow up testing scheduled for January 2024.

The Ingham County Health Department recommended the following on December 6, 2023.

All were implemented beginning December 6-7, 2023.


- Continue to work with the Environmental Resources Group (or another company) to develop a comprehensive flushing and testing plan that is consistent with the guidance shared by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE).

- Flush every fixture within the Central Montessori School each day for 10 minutes in the morning.

- Sample and test water one month after beginning daily flushing regime.

- Collaborate with ICHD in reviewing the developed flushing and testing plan; ICHD remains available to provide further support and guidance as necessary.

- Ensure further posting of signage that directs staff and students to use bottle-filling stations for drinking water.

- Ensure OPS policies and procedures encourage and do not hinder the use of bottle-filling stations by students and staff.

- Maintain current drinking water restrictions on using any fixture other than filtered water stations.

- Educate staff on the guidance and procedures for drinking water within the Central Montessori School.

December 7, 2023: Nurses called families

of Room 121 again to check in.

November 2023: The district widened their water testing efforts less than a week after receiving the ELMWSA results, retesting drinking water in classrooms 102 and 103, plus 13 additional areas at OPM. 

The rooms that tested positive for lead water in the last round were now undetected for lead. However, three other rooms showed elevated levels of lead, including one classroom at 38 ppb (121) and another at 7 ppb (116).


November 22, 2023

Room 102 - Susie Black (Paper Birch) = retested, undetected ↓

Room 103 - Adrianne Watkins (Willow) = retested, undetected ↓

Room 104 - Kara Thurber (Catalpa) = undetected

Room 105 - Theresa Weber (Honeysuckle) = undetected

Room 106 - Lorie Latsko (Flowering Dogwood) = undetected

Room 107 - Beth Lieber (Mulberry) = undetected

Room 116 - Jennifer Schlicher (Apple Blossom) = 7 ppb

Room 118 - Erin Gould (Sycamore) = undetected

Room 121 - Kelly Bertilrud (Paw Paw) = 38 ppb

Room 124B - Rebecca Wieger = 3 ppb

Room 135 - Haley Blake = undetected

Child Care = undetected

3 Hallway bottle fillers = undetected

Follow up testing scheduled for December 2023.

The ERG recommended the following actions that the district followed and implemented beginning November 27-29, 2023:

- Re-cleaning or replacement of faucet aerators (replaced on November 29, 2023)

- Flushing of the system

-Schedule follow-up testing with all rooms that tested above 5 ppb and any room water has not yet been tested.

In addition to those actions, the district has implemented the following EGLE recommendations until retesting is completed:

- Shut off problem fixtures

- Share the test results

- Post “not for drinking” signs at the problem fixtures
- Continue to provide filtered water throughout the building at bottle-filling stations

- Refillable water bottles available upon request

November 30: Nurses called families of room 121 to check in and offer information and guidance on lead testing for students.

Ingham County Health Department waived the fee for lead testing for children over the age of 6.

October 2023: In response to discolored water in two classrooms, the district asked the East Lansing Meridian Water and Sewer Authority (ELMWSA) to test the drinking water for contaminants. Four locations – two classrooms, the staff lounge, and a bottle filler – were tested in a two-part test.

Results showed lead in the water in both classrooms (102 and 103), one above the 5 ppb limit.


Room 102 - Susie Black (Paper Birch) = 3 ppb

Room 103 - Adrianne Watkins (Willow) = 9 ppb

Teachers lounge = undetected

Water fountain = undetected

Follow up testing scheduled for November 2023.

The Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy recommended the following actions.

The district implemented all on November 18, 2023.

- Cleaning of all faucet aerators

- Flushing of the system

- Schedule follow-up testing

In addition to those actions, the district implemented the following EGLE recommendations until retesting was complete:

- Shut off problem fixture

- Share the test results

- Post “not for drinking” signs at problem fixture

- Continue to provide filtered water throughout the building at bottle-filling stations

- Refillable water bottles available upon request

ELMWSA suggested it may be the lead solder that was used to join copper plumbing pipes.

2016 Testing

May 2016: Triterra conducted a strategic sampling of water at OPM. The test included six areas in the building. All areas came back undetected.


May 4, 2016

Hallway near 102 (fountain) = undetected

Room 105 = undetected

Room 119 = undetected

Boiler room service line = undetected

Kitchen sink = undetected

Hallway near child care (fountain) = undetected

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