Our view: Statewide testing of public school water for lead is paying off
Our view: Statewide testing of public school water for lead is paying off.
Soon, other districts found excessive lead in the water at schools, and Gov.
Chris Christie in May 2016 ordered mandatory testing for lead by all public schools in the state.
The state Board of Education adopted the regulation a couple of months later, giving districts 365 days to do the tests — by July 13, 2017.
As of the end of August, the department told NJ Spotlight 201 districts have notified the state that 397 schools have been found with unsafe levels of lead in their drinking water.
Lead can get into drinking water from old lead pipes or from systems that used lead-based solder to connect pipes.
Neither was banned from use in the United States until 1986, so buildings that predate the ban are likely to have lead issues.
Given that, finding excess lead in about 400 schools may be a pretty good result, if it stands.
There are 678 districts in the state and 2,518 schools, so the number where lead was found so far is less than one-fifth.
From the start, the university provided students with bottled water (377,000 bottles by last spring).