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Bottled water set up as Pine River School in the Merrill district deals with PFAS finding

Adriana Daniel
WAOW Television

Pine River Elementary School Started their school year differently from any other school in the district.

Students and staff were not allowed to consume the school's well water due to excess PFAS in the water.

Last week, the school district was notified by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that the school's well water had more PFAS in it than recommended by the DNR and the Department of Health Services (DHS).

The district quickly sprang into action, and the school will be setting up water jugs in each classroom and the cafeteria for students and staff to have water.

"In the short term, the steps that we have taken will are going to keep everyone safe and healthy and well and those kinds of things," Merrill Area Public Schools Superintendent, Shannon Murray said.

The district has been working with the DNR on long-term solutions. Some of the ideas have included building a new well and creating a point-of-entry water treatment system.

"I think the Merrill School district is taking the correct interim actions, and they are also being very protective and long for long-term actions," Kyle Burton, Field Operations Director for the Drinking and Well Water Program, DNR said. "They (the district) are doing everything we have asked of them and more."

According to Murray, the district is waiting for the DNR to finish its testing to see what the feasibility of a new well would be before making any official long-term solutions.

Pine River is the only school in the district dealing with excess PFAS because it is the only one not using the city's water.

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