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Seattle Public Schools says there's lead in most buildings – but it's under control

Seattle Public Utilities says its dams are about three-quarters full.
Flickr photo/Konstantin Stepanov (CC BY 2.0)

Recent, routine tests in Seattle Public Schools found that 49 schools had at least one faucet with lead levels above the district’s acceptable limit.

The district’s lead threshhold is stricter than federal standards: 10 parts per billion, compared to 20.

But some faucets and fountains had lead levels above the federal standard as well.

The district has periodically tested school water for lead and other heavy metals since lead levels far above the federal limit were discovered at schools 12 years ago.

Stacy Howard is the district spokeswoman.

Stacy Howard: "Seattle Public Schools considers student health and safety a top priority, and over the past several years we have adopted and implemented a set of very rigorous standards which have set nationally recognized standards for safe drinking water quality in public schools."

In the latest tests, Hamilton, Boren, Ingraham, Kimball and Van Asselt had the greatest number of high-lead faucets.

Hamilton had the most: six, from the stage to the library to the health center.

District policy states that water outlets with high levels of lead or other heavy metals must be fixed or turned off.

Restroom water supplies are not routinely tested. Instead, the district requires that restroom sinks have signs posted warning people not to drink from the tap.

You can find a link to the district’s water quality report for each school here.

Year started with KUOW: 2008