Contaminated Playground Cleanup Nearing Completion - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports


Contaminated Playground Cleanup Nearing Completion

For months now, parents have been keeping close watch on the soil at East Broad Elementary. Inspectors found signs of lead and arsenic in the soil. Crews removed some of the contaminated soil and replaced it. Last night, school leaders talked to parents about the process.

On New Year's Eve, crews finished their work in the north courtyard, and it's ready to reopen, but some parents still aren't convinced it's safe. School district officials maintain that even before the work started, kids were perfectly safe on the playgrounds. The work is all just erring on the side of caution. "We simply said there was some contaminated soil two to three feet below the ground level," said school superintendent John O'Sullivan. "In other words, you would have to dig down, dig the dirt out and eat buckets of it to have a problem."

During the entire process, crews had five air sensors set up around the school, and none of them picked up any amounts of arsenic or lead. Since the school district is 100 percent sure the playground's safe, they could let students back in today, but they're going to wait a full week.

Despite the school's reassurances, some parents are still skeptical. "If they say it's correct, I hope they're telling the truth because they got a lot of kids' lives on the line," said parent Evonia Baker.

"The only reason I send children to school is to get an education, not to have to worry if they're in a safe environment," added Solana Plaines.

The north courtyard is just one of the pieces of land around the school that's been contaminated, and the school district hopes to get the rest of it cleaned up this summer.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite,

Powered by Frankly