Six Fairfield playscapes cleared for use

Mill Hill's playscape was one of six reopened Friday.

Mill Hill’s playscape was one of six reopened Friday.

Rachel Scharf / Hearst Connecticut Media

FAIRFIELD — Six of 10 elementary school playscapes have been reopened.

Schools Superintendent Mike Cummings announced Friday morning that the district received test results clearing for use the playscapes at Mill Hill, North Stratfield, Osborn Hill, Riverfield, Roger Sherman and Burr.

All six playscapes were reopened in time for school Friday.

Results from licensed environmental professional Tighe & Bond showed no exceedances at Roger Sherman or Burr.

The playscapes at Mill Hill and Riverfield are clean, although their results display previously reported exceedances of PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) in areas abutting the playgrounds. The town had previously closed these areas for remediation, along with a section next to Jennings’ playground.

While the playscapes at Mill Hill and Riverfield have been reopened, the areas requiring remediation remain closed: the walkway to Mill Hill’s lower playground, and the section to the left of Riverfield’s main building, close to the blacktop basketball courts.

The playscapes at North Stratfield and Osborn Hill are cleared for use, although their reports showed small amounts of pesticides above the Pollutant Mobility Criteria (PMC), but below the Residential Direct Exposure Criteria (RES DEC).

The PMC, said Health Director Sands Cleary, is a standard indicating potential for ground water leakage. It has no relation to health effects, he said, making the playscapes completely safe for use, with numbers far below the RES DEC.

This was similar to evidence of pesticides initially found above the PMC at six of the seven schools cleared Tuesday. Further leachability tests conducted by the district as an extra measure of caution found no exceedances of the PMC limits.

These are the latest results to come back in the school district’s independent testing of school areas not on the town’s list of sites that may have used fill from the Julian-managed pile.

The district is still awaiting test results from the playscapes at Dwight, McKinley, Jennings and Stratfield.