New Results Released in San Diego Unified Schools Tests for Lead in Water - NBC 7 San Diego

NBC 7 coverage of concerns surrounding water in San Diego County schools

New Results Released in San Diego Unified Schools Tests for Lead in Water

As school districts test for lead in their drinking water, they are required by the state to fix problems if they discover lead in water at levels greater than 15 parts per billion (ppb).

What to Know

  • The second largest school district in the state is working with the City of San Diego to collect samples from 5 schools a day

  • The water at all schools, including charter schools on SDUSD property, will be tested by the end of the school year

  • Samples will be collected Tuesday through Saturday since there are rules that water can't be sitting too long before testing

In the most recent test results released by San Diego Unified School District, unusually high levels of lead were found in eight schools. In each case, the levels measured were below state guidelines requiring the district to take action.

As school districts test for lead in their drinking water, they are required by the state to fix problems if they discover lead in water at levels greater than 15 parts per billion (ppb).

Angier Elementary had one kitchen water source return with lead measured at 10.2 ppb.

Language Academy had three positive results: one fountain with results at 5.58 ppb, a classroom sink with a 6.61 ppb result and Kindergarten class sink showing lead levels at 6.13 ppb.

Wegeforth Elementary had three positive results: A cafeteria sink was measured to have lead at 5.85 ppb, a Kindergarten class fountain had levels at 6.12 ppb and one fountain was sampled at 5.16 ppb.

Chesterton Elementary had two positive results: auditorium area fountain and a kitchen faucet return results over 5 ppb.

Euclid Elementary had one outdoor fountain return with a 6.65 ppb result.

Farb Middle School had a fountain in the office return with a 6.97 ppb result.

Garfield Elementary had a classroom sink/faucet receive a 5.26 ppb result.

Kimbrough Elementary had a restroom fountain receive a 5.05 ppb result.

Of the schools within San Diego Unified School District that have been tested, three have tested at a level where action has to be taken.

The three schools are Birney Elementary School in University Heights, Emerson Campus of the Emerson/Bandini Elementary School and the Emerson Campus of the San Diego Cooperative Charter School.

The California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) and the American Academy of Pediatrics maintain there is no safe level of lead in drinking water provided to children.

In 2009, California’s health department, OEHHA, set the public health goal for lead in drinking water at 0.2 parts per billion.

Lead poisoning in children can cause symptoms ranging from headaches and hearing or speech problems to learning and behavioral problems or damage to the brain and nervous system.

San Diego Unified School District is publishing test results for each school here.

NBC 7 is mapping the schools and the results. Parents can view how the testing is going and click on each location for updates and links to test results.

NBC 7 is gathering our coverage of concerns regarding drinking water in our special section "Safe to Drink?' here.

The potential for lead contamination in the water supply is greater in buildings built before 1986, according to health, water and city experts.

There are 447 schools across San Diego County built before 1986.

See our map of schools where the risk is greater here.

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