Boise School District officials say they are completing the process of testing for lead levels in the water systems of 27 schools earlier than anticipated.
This, following reports two weeks ago that water tested at Fairmont Junior High had registered positive for elevated levels of lead.
“All water faucets and fixtures which failed testing were immediately taken out of service and replaced. Previous testing at Fairmont in 2017 did not show any lead levels above the EPA threshold,” said District spokesman Dan Hollar. “However, tests conducted in mid-September of 2018 at the school indicated the presence of lead in some fixtures such as faucets, not from the water source.”
In addition to Fairmont, the District has 27 schools built before 1986.
That same year, Congress banned the use of lead solder -- and restricted the lead content of faucets, pipes and other plumbing materials. “Though the Environmental Protection Agency does not require it, the District is in the process of proactively testing water at 27 other schools built before 1986 and taking extra steps to ensure availability of safe drinking water for students and staff,” Hollar stated.
As the tests proceeded, the District required custodians at each of the 27 schools to follow EPA guidelines by running water at each of the school’s water fixtures each morning and afternoon to clear the lines, altering water bottle policies, and reaching out to the public.
“As of Tuesday, October 30, we have completed testing at more than 80% of the schools, including Adams, Collister, Fairmont, Fort Boise, Garfield, Hawthorne, Highlands, Hillcrest, Jefferson, Koelsch, Liberty, Longfellow, Madison, Maple Grove, Monroe, Mountain View, Owyhee, Pierce Park, Taft, Valley View, Washington and Whittier,” said Hollar.
Within the next few days, officials expect to complete testing at the remaining schools: Boise High, Borah High, Capital High, and Hillside and North Junior Highs.
For more information about our lead testing efforts, including school-by-school testing completion dates, test results (posted as available), and links to information regarding the health risks of lead exposure you can visit the Boise School District’s Lead Information Center webpage.