BOSTON, MA, AUGUST 16, 2016 -- In a letter today,Boston public school Superintendent Tommy Chang announced that drinking fountains at seven schools have been turned off after they tested positive for unsafe lead levels.
As part of the school committee's recently enacted Water Policy, Boston Public hired a consulting firm to retest the drinking water in the 30 school buildings that have active water fountains.
Findings from these tests showed that seven schools in six school buildings had at least one water fountain with lead concentrations "that exceeded the federal action level of 15 parts per billion."
According to the announcement, water fountains at the Patrick Lyndon K-8; Lee Academy; Josiah Quincy Elementary; Boston Latin School; F. Lyman Winship Elementary; and Jeremiah E. Burke High/Dearborn STEM Academy, were "immediately deactivated."
Bottled water coolers were brought into the schools while the problem is being worked on.
The Boston Herald is reporting that most of the school buildings in the district will use water coolers this year; with only 24 out of 108 school buildings still using active water foundations. This comes at a cost of at least $400,000 to the district, according to the Herald.
Officials with the school system are looking for long-term solutions to remove the lead, and working with the state Department of Environmental Protection.
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