Two Winston-Salem Schools Sit On Contaminated Grounds

Two Winston-Salem Schools Sit On Contaminated Grounds

10:30am Jan 26, 2015

Two Winston-Salem schools are battling contaminated grounds. The district is planning to build a new facility over the most heavily contaminated area.   

The Winston-Salem Journal reports that Hanes and Lowrance middle schools sit atop a plume of underground toxic waste, stretching from a decades-old chemical dump.

The plume contains at least one chemical known to cause cancer and another linked to it. State environment regulators have flagged the whole underground plume as one of the worst hazardous waste sites in North Carolina. 

Drinking water is considered safe on campus because the schools are connected to city water. But since the contaminants can turn into vapor and seep up from the ground into buildings, it’s the air quality in the schools that raises questions.

Concentrations of one contaminant have been growing under a portion of the campus. That spot is where Winston-Salem/Forsyth County schools plan to build a new $15.4 million dollar school to replace the aging Lowrance facility.

School officials say the site is safe, but are proposing protective measures in the new building, including a vapor barrier and ventilation system.



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