BPS: Two schools test positive for elevated lead in drinking water

originally posted on April 25, 2016


Water fountains have been shut down in two schools after a test revealed high levels of lead, according to Boston Public Schools.

BPS said Mayor Marty Walsh and Superintendent Tommy Chang have requested that all water fountains in Boston’s public schools be tested for lead.

38 schools have been assessed, and the results for 26 schools were made available Sunday. Two of those schools, the Thomas J. Kenny Elementary School in Dorchester and the Rafael Hernandez K-8 School in Roxbury, were determined to have water fountains that exceeded the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s action level of 15 parts per billion.

Boston Public Schools has deactivated all four water fountains at the Kenny School, and one water fountain at the Hernandez school. Students were also provided with more access to bottled water.

According to BPS, parents of students at both schools were notified about the elevated lead levels.

In response to the incident, BPS released the following statement:

BPS considers the health and well-being of its students and faculty a top priority. BPS Health Services is available to speak with any parents who have concerns, or who may want their children tested out of an abundance of caution.

The district is committed to ensuring that students have access to clean, potable water in all of our schools. In the past, when the issue of lead in the public drinking water supply became a national health concern, BPS switched to bottled water across all schools. Recently, the district launched a plan to begin restoring water fountains in schools across the district, and is taking all necessary steps to make sure that any new water fountains made available to the public meet acceptable state and federal standards.

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