Departments & Services > Health > Fill Use News

9/19/2019 - An Update from Superintendent Cummings Regarding Playscape Testing Results (9/19/19)

Superintendent Cummings sent the following e-mail to parents on Thursday afternoon, September 19th:

Good afternoon

We have received additional results on the playscapes at Dwight, Stratfield, Holland Hill, McKinley, and Jennings elementary schools. The full test results are available at

Initial results from soil samples at these playscapes indicated that contaminants exceeded the Connecticut DEEP Residential Direct Exposure Criteria. The Town of Fairfield consulted with Meg Harvey from the Connecticut Department of Health about these results. Ms. Harvey has concluded that because the soil is beneath one to two feet of mulch, and because that mulch is protected by rubber matting beneath the swings the playscapes can re-open. In her letter she notes that the mulch barrier at Holland Hill needed additional mulch. Mulch, and rubber matting, was added today at Holland Hill and tomorrow, September 20, we will open all three playscapes for use.

Testing results for the older playscape at McKinley and the playscape to the right of Jennings demonstrate a need for a remediation plan. We are still waiting for the test results to the playscape to the left of Jennings. Those playscape results remain closed.

We have and will continue to make our decisions based on the safety and security of children and we use the guidance of experts like Ms. Harvey to make those determinations. Ms. Harvey states in her letter, “Without frequent and ongoing contact with the soil, there are no exposures that would pose a public health concern.”

It is believed the current levels are evidence of past playground equipment including pressure treated timbers and tires used for climbing play.

Thank you for your continued patience with the testing process.

Take care, Mike

Mike Cummings
Superintendent of Schools