June 2 2016

Lead Level in Burlington Schools' Water Above Recommended Levels

By: Rich Hosford

Burlington Public Schools are taking steps to change its faucets and pipes in a number of locations after a water test showed elevated levels of lead. 


The School Department’s Director of Finance and Operations Craig Robinson said that out of 24 locations tested, 10 of them came back with lead levels exceeding the Department of Environment Protection’s (DEP) action level of 0.015 mg/l. 


Robinson said the high lead counts were found in each of the town’s six schools. He said that except for a water fountain in Francis Wyman Elementary School the elevated levels were in sinks and facilities not used for consumption. 


The water fountain was immediately taken offline after the test results. Robinson also said that they are in the process of changing the faucets and fixtures that tested high for lead and that as of last week’s School Committee meeting two of the schools had been completed. 


“We have ordered more faucets,” he said. “We’ll change all the positive areas and then we’ll retest. If the tests come back clean then we’ll know we fixed the problem.”


Robinson said the school department will then replace similar fixtures even if they have not yet tested above the DEP’s action level. 


In the meantime any sink that tested high will be run for two minutes before any use each day and the flushing of the system will be logged. 

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