San Diego

La Mesa Spring Valley District Providing Students With Bottled Water

The La Mesa-Spring Valley School district is providing students with bottled water pending results of water quality tests, the superintendent confirmed Monday.

The drinking water closures follow NBC7's coverage of water quality concerns at two other school districts in San Diego County.

"We are exercising an abundance of caution," said Superintendent Brian Marshall. "We are in the process of testing and are providing bottled water until we have the results."

Marshall said the water closure was prompted by knowledge that a San Ysidro school had tested positive for lead "and our desire to make sure all of our water is safe for our students."

All but one school in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School district were built before 1986, which health experts say are more likely to have lead piping and may have lead in the water.

NBC 7 mapped out where schools in the county built before 1986 are located, and found they are spread out throughout the region. Health experts say the schools most likely to have unsafe levels of lead in drinking water are those built before 1986.

Marshall said the cost of the water will be about $1,000 per week and the cost of testing will be about $250 to $500 per school, depending on the number of samples taken at the site. He said district officials hope to have the results next week.

The East County school district serves about 12,587 students in grades K through 8 at 17 elementary schools and four middle schools.

Earlier this month, NBC7 reported on the discovery of dangerous levels of lead in water at a San Ysidro elementary school. Last week, Warner Unified district officials confirmed they had arsenic in their water at twice the amount allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency. Both districts are also providing students with bottled water instead of tap water. 

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