MARQUETTE — Last month, Northern Michigan University closed three buildings on campus due to lead levels discovered during water testing. Two and a half weeks later, the PEIF, Thomas Fine Arts and the Learning Resources Center have re-opened, but NMU is still working to fix these issues.
The water in these buildings is safe to wash hands with or shower in, but not to drink. The university is providing drinking water in the affected buildings.
NMU is focusing on the issues in Thomas Fine Arts first, because this building sees less traffic than the other two during the summer. Efforts are focused on testing the fixtures, pipes and joints because the university is confident that the water source is good.
“Thomas Fine Arts is right between the Forest Roberts and McClintock. In those other two buildings, the water is fine. We’re trying to pinpoint the spots in this building have issues. Not all fixtures in this building have issues. We’re trying to pin point them, fix it and move on,” said Derek Hall, the spokesperson for NMU.
A consulting company has also been hired to assist NMU in determining the best methods to investigate and solve the water issues. The university has purchased a hand-held machine, similar to an X-ray machine, that determines the contents of a fixture and if there is led present.
Hall said he hopes the issue is resolved before students return for the fall semester. There is no estimated cost for the repairs.
The water in all other buildings on campus have successfully passed recent water tests.