During the summer of 2016, researchers approached Leon County Schools to test for lead in the water on our campuses. LCS agreed and worked with this group to test the water at sixteen school sites. This testing was not mandated, but a voluntary initiative on our part in the interest of student and staff safety.
The Environmental Protection Agency sets the guidelines by which LCS abides. Tests that come back higher than 15 parts per billion require “action” to be taken. Tests were run on water outlets at two locations at sixteen LCS elementary schools. The tests were taken on water from campuses where there had been little or no activity over the summer. Of the thirty-two tests completed, two came back with slightly higher levels than the EPA recommended “action line.”
LCS immediately worked to mitigate the higher levels at those locations. Water from the two locations was retested and the levels were found to be below the action line.
All of the original testing was completed prior to the start of school, before students returned from summer break; therefore, LCS considered the matter effectively handled. LCS then moved forward with planning and designing a first in the state Quality Water Assurance Program that would work to reduce lead levels across the district. LCS was set to announce this bold new initiative in December 2016.
All sixteen of the schools tested currently meet the EPA standards. The new Quality Water Assurance Program will work to ensure that LCS meets or exceeds the federally mandated standard.
The safety of our students will always be the top priority of LCS. We apologize for any confusion created during this process. We appreciate your understanding, cooperation, and patience.