Sep 06, 2006

North Carolina Tests for Lead in School Drinking Water

The public schools in Durham, N.C., have completed testing the presence of abnormal levels of lead in its drinking water.

According to the Herald Sun, of the 318 water fountains tested at 27 different schools, 14 had elevated levels of lead.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires government action to take place when lead is found in amounts greater than 15 parts per billion.

One of the samples taken at Northern High School showed lead to be at 1,770 parts per billion, which is 118 times greater than the safety limit. Another water sample taken at Carrington Middle School came up at 383 parts per billion.

In April, a child was found to have lead poisoning after drinking from a faucet in South Durham. Since that incident, the water supply in Durham has been put into question, and therefore the public schools were tested.

The fountains that showed higher than the allowed levels of lead were removed. The testing was conducted by the Durham Health Department in all of the public schools that were built before 1990.