Water Fountains and Lead

The Facts

 In April, the thirty eight schools that  utilize city water were routinely tested by an independent company, and reports sent  to the district last week.   Of the thirty eight schools,   4  had levels that were elevated above the state guideline of 15 ppb. The other 34 all tested below that level. All other schools are using bottled  water.That means 4 schools out of 125 have the elevations. Of the 4 schools cited, not every fountain tested positive.

The 4 schools are: Kenny, Hernandez, Murphy and Boston Latin Academy.

Lead table

The Response

 The fountains with elevated levels have been deactivated. Schools and families were notified.  Schools using city water will be tested annually.

Going Forward as a Community

Although the levels that were in these schools are only mildly elevated , no health  personnel will ever  say that any  lead in water  is a safe level. The reality is that lead is still very much present in the general environment and these routine testing results  remind us that  all sources of lead in the environments of children should be controlled or eliminated.  Children under 6 years  are more susceptible to lead than older children and adults. For the many children living in housing built before 1978, lead sources include lead paint hazards as well as lead in plumbing components and fixtures. Children can still be exposed to tap water with lead levels of ≥15 ppb if they live in older homes that are more likely to have lead water pipes or fixtures.

Health services nurses and physician  (617 635 6788) will be glad to answer questions  and discuss concerns. Parents can also call their child’s doctor to discuss possible lead testing. Pediatricians are experts in understanding lead and can advise families on whether the child needs to be tested. Community clinicians are welcome to call health services for more detail.

For more information check out the Lead in Water 2.0