Philly Schools Are Retesting Their Drinking Water for Lead

More than 40 schools will be examined over the next few months.

By Brian Thomas, originally posted on August 5, 2016


The Philadelphia School District announced Thursday that it will begin retesting the drinking water in 40 schools throughout the city for lead.

The schools that were chosen are located in neighborhoods where children have been tested with high levels of lead in their blood, or where students attend class in older buildings that have not been renovated in more than 20 years, according to

City officials praised the district’s decision to test the water. “The school district’s plan to retest drinking water across its schools is critically important for Philadelphia’s students — especially in light of concerns here and across the country about water quality and water access,” said Councilwoman Helen Gym in a statement. “The threat of lead in aging buildings reminds us all that investments in school infrastructure cannot be budgetary afterthoughts.”

This announcement comes after months of national concern over lead in drinking water, which began after residents of Flint, Michigan started to experiencing the effects of contamination.

The Philadelphia Water Department tests more than 50 representative homes in the city every three years, according to its website. Philadelphia has come under fire for having a huge lead poisoning problem of its own, though officials say it is due to lead-based paint, not contaminated water.

The retesting of the city’s schools is expected to take four months, with four schools being tested each week, according to Philly Voice.

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