(Article from Denton Record-Chronicle, written by CAITLYN JONES, reporter)
Several area school districts tested their water fountains after Dallas and Fort Worth ISDs found elevated traces of lead in some of their lines.
Though the Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t advocate a “safe” amount of lead in water, it doesn’t require action until levels exceed 15 parts per billion, or .015 milligrams per liter.
Schools aren’t required by the agency to test water fountains but are encouraged to take action if levels reach 20 parts per billion.
When Denton ISD officials realized that fountains at Evers Park Elementary School were the same brand used in Fort Worth schools, they took water samples in October to check lead levels.
According to lab test results, the highest level found at Evers Elementary was .0032 milligrams per liter, well below the federal standard of .015 milligrams per liter.
The district also tested structures built during or before 1968 and found levels significantly below federal standards.
This included Ginnings Elementary School, Strickland Middle School, Stephens Central Administration Building, Denton High School, Calhoun Middle School, Special Education Services, Newton Rayzor Elementary School, Borman Elementary School and Wilson Elementary School.
Denton ISD spokesman Mario Zavala said the district contracted with Ana-Lab Corp. out of Kilgore and spent less than $1,000 on the testing. Because the levels were below EPA limits, Zavala said there are no plans for more testing in the near future.
Bobby Cary, Krum ISD’s director of maintenance, said the district tested its fountains in September and found its levels below federal standards. Cary added that between 80 percent to 90 percent of the district’s fountains were replaced in 2005.
Argyle ISD Superintendent Telena Wright said the district’s maintenance department contracts with a lab in Denton and will be taking samples this week.
The push for testing came after Fort Worth ISD found high levels of lead in 28 schools over the summer and spent $800,000 replacing 500 fountains. District officials said some levels were as high as 88.9 parts per billion.
Dallas ISD also reported high levels of lead and copper in seven schools earlier this week. The highest concentration of lead found was 160 parts per billion.
According to the EPA, children consuming water with high levels of lead can cause damage to the brain, red blood cells and kidneys.