Fulton schools: High lead levels found in five schools’ water

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Fulton schools: High lead levels found in five schools’ water

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Elevated lead levels in drinking water were found in five of six Fulton County schools tested so far.

The district began testing water in schools and other buildings for lead this fall and plans to test 119 buildings over the coming months.

The highest levels — above 15 parts per billion — were found in about 10 sinks and water fountains at Seaborn Lee Elementary, Mimosa Elementary, Mountain Park Elementary, Crabapple Middle and Holcomb Bridge Middle.

But tests of dozens of other sinks and water fountains in those schools and at Camp Creek Middle showed lead levels ranging from just over 1 part per billion to close to 15.

No law requires testing water for lead in Georgia schools or day care centers. And there’s no law requiring Georgia schools to shut off taps if lead at any level is found.

But there are some guidelines:

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that school water fountains not exceed lead concentrations of 1 part per billion.
  • Federal rules requires water systems, such as Atlanta Watershed, to try to reduce lead in drinking water if tests show lead levels above 15 parts per billion.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that schools and child-care facilities make repairs to any drinking water source if lead levels are above 20 parts per billion.

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