San Diego Unified School District Receives Water Testing Update - NBC 7 San Diego

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

San Diego Unified School District Receives Water Testing Update

According to Board documents, the City and the school district plan to test all schools on district property for potential lead in drinking water by mid-June.

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    District officials updated the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) Board Tuesday night on its lead sampling program for campus water.

    According to Board documents, the City and the school district plan to test all schools on district property for potential lead in drinking water by mid-June.

    With about 200 schools total to test, the district is about half-way through the process.

    A slide in a Power Point presentation made to elected officials shows the district has submitted sampling plans to the city for 109 schools. Of that, 72 schools have already been tested. Twenty nine schools have lab results from the city that do not pose a concern to the district in terms of the safety and quality of the drinking water.

    As schools 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).

    So far, those levels or above have only been discovered in two school campuses in San Diego Unified.

    The presentation included information about possible health resources for families, including "referrals to specific clinics that do blood testing for lead."A charter school on the Emerson campus, where high levels of lead were discovered, is also offering families a free mobile clinic for lead testing.

    The cost to provide bottled drinking water and make plumbing upgrades at Emerson was about $12,000, according to the board documents.

    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.

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

    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.

    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.

    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.

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