Southwest Valley Community School District has been a participant in the School Radon Training & Support System (SRTSS), facilitated by Energy Association of Iowa Schools (EAIS), since it began in 2015. Their participation has paid off.
“We decided to be proactive. We trained with EAIS to see what we needed to check in our buildings and develop an ongoing plan to ensure student safety,” said Willie Stone, the district’s superintendent. Testing discovered slightly elevated levels of radon in one elementary school and in the high school.
EAIS first guided the district through some low cost corrective measures. Those measures did help decrease the radon levels, but not quite enough to be below the EPA’s action level. So next EAIS helped Southwest Valley through the radon mitigation process, including helping the district find professional mitigation services – since they were not readily available in the district’s area.
“We’re now as safe from radon as we can be,” Stone said. “We’re still a participant in the SRTSS process, because we want to continue to ensure student and staff safety. We will keep testing our Pre-School/Elementary buildings every two years, and our other buildings on a 3-5 year rotation. EAIS helps us set up the process to do that. EAIS is very knowledgeable in the subject and they stay up to date on current data. It’s been very worthwhile and eases the mind.”
Radon gas cannot be seen, smelled or tasted, and moves upward through cracks and other openings in the foundations of buildings from the soil under a building. It is naturally occurring everywhere, but, if elevated in a building, can cause in increased risk of lung cancer over the course of a person’s lifetime. Testing is currently required for Iowa’s Voluntary Pre-School Programs for Four-Year-Old Children. Learn more here.
Southwest Valley is also an Energy Member of EAIS which, in addition to providing energy coaching, provides a discount to participate in SRTSS.