High lead found in school water fountains
KINGSTON >> A total of eight water fountains in three elementary schools have been taken out of service due to elevated levels of lead.
Kingston school district Building and Grounds Director Thomas Clapper said the fountains were among 47 water conveyances in four schools — John F. Kennedy, George Washington, Edward R. Crosby and Robert Graves — that had lead levels exceeding the state limit. Most were sink faucets.
“We collected approximately 1,100 samples districtwide,” Clapper told the Board of Education at a recent meeting.
The fountains taken out of service are in Rooms 123 and 207 at Kennedy; Rooms 5,6, 7, 10 and 13 at Graves; and outside Room 14 at Washington. That fountain had the highest lead content of all those tested — 440 parts per billion.
The state requires corrective action if a sample exceeds 15 parts per billion.
Clapper said more samples still must be reviewed by the state, and “I can say with confidence that we will see more cases of remediation.”
He told school board members that further testing will be needed to determine whether high lead levels are coming from the fixtures themselves or the lines going to the fixtures.
“It’s a combination of things, and that’s why remediation is going to take some time,” he said.
“Once you enter our schools, there’s copper pipes with lead solder, and we may pick up some there,” Clapper said. “But typically, because of the nature of this test, it’s really designed to get that water that’s right in the faucet. So I would say most of the cases of remediation [are] the faucet or the valve right under the faucet.”
Information about how much it will cost to fix the problems was not immediately available.