Dec 13, 2019

South Carolina School District Voluntarily Tests Drinking Water for Lead

South Carolina’s Charleston County School District is testing all schools’ drinking water for lead.

lead in drinking water

South Carolina’s Charleston County School District is rolling out a new initiative to test all schools’ drinking water for lead, reported Live5News.

Officials want to see whether the plumbing infrastructure in schools is having any impact on the quality of the tap water, as lead from older pipes could contaminate the water supply.

If the results come back with more than 15 ppb of lead, the district will replace the fixtures at those water sources. They are also adding filters to many of their drinking fountains, reported Live5News.

According to the district, more than 98% of the outlets tested have had results come back with less than the recommended amount.

Data shows that the 12 schools tested so far had at least one instance where the level of lead is greater than 15 ppb, which is also the highest level tolerated by the U.S. EPA

Officials have reported that some water sources have contained a higher level of lead, but they have since replaced those fixtures. The highest recorded lead presence was 190 ppb in a sink at Ladson Elementary. School officials say that the sink had not been used in about 5 years and has now been removed completely, reported WCBD News 2.

"Even with the few positive findings that have occurred, even if they hadn't been corrected, it would be extraordinarily difficult for a child to be poisoned to a level of concern," said J. Routt Reigart, MUSC professor emeritus of pediatrics.

Officials hope to be done testing the remaining schools by next February, reported Live5News.

Parents should expect to receive a letter after their child’s school is tested, explaining the results and if any action will be needed. The results can be found for each school as they become available on the CCSD Facilities Management webpage.

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