THOMAS — The well at the Snake River Middle School (SRMS) in Thomas has a nitrate problem. The nitrate level is still within the safe level, below 20 parts, however, nitrates measure above the limit of 10 parts. The nitrates in the old well at SRMS measures 13 parts.
Students, staff and cooks use bottled water for their water needs.
The school uses 25-30 five-gallon water bottles each week, said Ed Jackson, principal of the SRMS.
Marvin Fielding, an engineer with Schiess and Associates from Idaho Falls, presented three recommendations for the nitrate problem at SRMS. These are:
° The school district self funds a new well.
° Apply for grant money from DEQ to do a study and drill a test well before drilling a new well.
The cost of the well is estimated to be about $50,000 whether the district applies for the DEQ grant or drills a well on its own.
° Put in a treatment system. This system would treat the water in the drinking fountains, the teachers' lounge and the kitchen.
Fielding estimated the cost would be $5,000 for equipment and $5,000 to install it. This would be an extraction system and there would be ongoing cost.
The ongoing cost would be five-10 pounds of salt every two weeks.
The school trustees voted to apply for the DEQ grant and to eventually drill a new well.
"Something will be done by Aug. 13, 2013," said Maintenance Supervisor Alden Hale. "This discussion counts as doing something about the well."
The school board meetings will take a tour around the district by scheduling the monthly meetings in the schools in the district.
In November, the trustees will meet in the Snake River High School. In December, the meeting will be in the SRJH. The January meeting will be at the SRMS. February will be in Rockford; March will be in Riverside. The April meeting will complete the tour and is scheduled in Moreland. May is in the district office.
The monthly meetings will begin at 6 p.m. to give the trustees an opportunity tour each school.
The November school board meeting will be on Wednesday, Nov. 7, because it is the only date the auditor can present the district's audit report.
The district has a new ap for Apple devices—phones, pads and Android devices," said Technology Director Steve Shellenberg. "It's free to us.
"This was a really big find," said Shellenberg. "We are the first in Idaho to have this."
Go to School Connect to get this free ap.
The ACT prep class is open to the community. The next class begins Nov. 5.