Preliminary water tests conducted at Ben Franklin Elementary, Eldridge Elementary, Lawrenceville Elementary, Slackwood Elementary, and Lawrence Intermediate finds lead at, or higher than, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 15µg/L (microgram per liter) limit at several sites. As reported in MercerMe, over 600 tests were conducted on district fountains, faucets, and main lines. Results for the Lawrence Middle and High Schools are pending.
Corroded faucet fixtures were deemed the culprit for the higher than allowable lead levels. This determination was based on two factors: 1) lead was not found throughout all testing locations, as would be expected if the water source were contaminated; and 2) site water inlets tested negative for lead.
To remediate the failed testing sites, the district has ordered new water fountain bubblers and faucet fixtures. The water will be retested after installation has been completed.
According to the EPA, structures built prior to 1986, are more likely to have lead pipes, leaded solder, lead faucets and fixtures made of alloys (stainless steel, brass, bronze) containing lead impurities.