Feb 13, 2020

Washington Elementary School Uses Bottled Water After Lead Discovery

A Kitsap County, Washington elementary school is using bottled water after testing showed elevated lead levels.


drinking water

Burley Glenwood Elementary School is being provided with bottled water after water testing in January showed elevated lead levels.

19 of 58 drinking water fixtures had elevated lead levels, according to the Kitsap Sun.

These fixtures showed lead levels above 20 parts per billion (ppb), the level at which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and U.S. EPA recommends schools take action.

The fixtures were taken offline immediately and bottled water is being distributed in affected areas of the school, reported Superintendent Tim Winter in a letter to families.

The district is working with the Department of Health on a plan, which will include installing certified lead-free fixtures. Three fixtures at South Colby Elementary had lead levels above the 20 ppb, reported the Kitsap Sun. Those fixtures were taken out of service, according to a letter sent to families on Feb. 5.

In 2017, the Legislature provided funding to the DOH to test for lead in public schools' drinking water. The program has received continued funding for 2020 and 2021, reported the Kitsap Sun.

500 schools around the state have been tested since 2018. 

South Kitsap notified families that elementary schools were scheduled for the first round of testing Jan. 9 through 31, according to the Kitsap Sun.

Other schools tested for lead as well.

At South Colby, three fixtures were taken offline and eight other fixtures tested had measurable levels of lead below the action level of 20 ppb. 38 of 62 fixtures at Hidden Creek Elementary tested below the action level.

At Sunnyslope Elementary 16 of 71 fixtures tested below the action level. And at Manchester Elementary 48 of 67 fixtures tested below the action level.

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