High lead found in school water foun­tains

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Wil­liam J. Kem­ble news@free­manon­line.com The Kingston school dis­trict’s lead re­ports can be viewed on­line at bit. ly/2fBlXDA.

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.

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