Air and water quality tests say Abbeville High School is safe, microbiologist says the testing was too vague


ABBEVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)- The Abbeville County School District ordered water and air quality tests for Abbeville High School after parents raised concerns.

7News obtained the tests results from a Freedom of Information Act request.

The water quality tests showed samples from Abbeville High School did not have levels of copper, lead, and bacteria above regulatory limits.

According to Abbeville County Superintendent Dr. Julie Fowler, the district had the city flush water pipes after a parent held up a water bottle with discolored water she said came from the school.

Three air quality tests were also performed. Microbiologist Donnie Patterson said the tests are meaningless because they aren’t specific enough.

“You have the genus of the mold, but without the species…and without that piece of information, you’ve wasted taxpayer money,” Patterson said. “You’ve wasted time, and you’re not giving the parents any information whatsoever to work with.”

7News reached out to the district for comment.

“The District did not make the decision about what tests to run. We left that up to the experts we hired,” Fowler said in an email.

The company the district hired to do the testing, Crossroads Environmental, declined to comment.

According to Crossroads’ report, two airborne concentrations for “spore trap samples” collected Aug. 19 were found to have air quality issues. After cleaning, new samples showed a slight reduction in the mold, but still showed levels were too high. A third test found that additional cleaning efforts were successful.

The report recommended maintaining temperatures and relative humidity within the recommended guidelines of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers to help prevent future mold growth.

According to Fowler, the district has paid $1,889.36 for testing and remediation so far, but they won’t know the total cost until they receive all the invoices.

Fowler said the test results will be posted the district’s website by the close of business Friday.

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