San Diego

San Diego Unified to Fix 40+ Schools with Lead in Water

The San Diego Unified School District unanimously approved a water quality plan to lower the acceptable level of lead

San Diego school officials decided Tuesday to shut down any water source showing a lower level of lead in the water than first considered actionable when testing began in April. 

Water was at tested at 207 schools on district property. Results show 19 percent of the schools have some level of lead in the water.

The San Diego Unified School District unanimously approved a water quality plan to lower the acceptable level of lead. 

Schools are required by the state to fix problems if they discover lead in water at levels greater than 15 parts per billion (ppb). 

Now, San Diego schools will take action if lead levels are recorded above 5 ppb. 

This means 37 additional school campuses will be fixed or have water dispensary sites taken out of service, given they had lead samples come back between 5ppb and 15ppb.

This brings the total to 41 schools that have lead samples needing to be addressed.

Schools with faucets that have detectable lead levels will be fixed or taken out of service before classes start. 

The district plans to test every faucet at local schools over the next three years at an estimated cost of $200,000. 

Here is a list of schools with water samples between 5 ppb and 15 ppb of lead:

  • Angier K-8, 10.2 ppb
  • Ballard, 10 ppb
  • Bird Rock, 10 ppb
  • Cabrillo, 8.69 ppb
  • Chesterton, 5.29 ppb
  • Chollas/Mead, 7.73 ppb
  • Clay, 10.5 ppb
  • Encanto, 9.19, 5.15 and 5.73 ppb
  • Euclid, 6.65 ppb
  • Farb Middle, 6.97 ppb
  • Fletcher Elem, 6.82 ppb
  • Franklin Elem, 5.15 ppb
  • Fulton K-8, 5.41 ppb
  • Gage, 10.1 & 5.21 ppb
  • Garfield, 5.26 ppb
  • Harriet Tubman Charter, 9.84 ppb
  • Henry HS, 6.34 ppb
  • Hickman Elem, 5.02 ppb
  • Juarez, 5.02 ppb
  • Keiler Leadership, 5.12 ppb
  • Kimbrough Elementary, 5.05 ppb
  • La Jolla High, 6.34 & 10.5 ppb
  • Language Academy, 5.58, 6.61, 6.13 ppb
  • Lindbergh Schweitzer Elemn, 7.98 ppb
  • Mann Middle School, 6.98 & 9.31 ppb
  • Mckinley Elem, 12.9 & 5.92 & 9.75 ppb
  • Miller Elem, 5.37 ppb
  • Mt Everest, 8.88 ppb
  • Ocean Beach Elem, 5.31 ppb
  • Perry Elementary, 5.14 ppb
  • SD Coop Charter Linda Vista, 6.06 ppb
  • Taft Middle School, 6.29 ppb
  • Vista Hill, 11.9 ppb
  • University City High, 5.38 ppb
  • Webster, 7.14 & 5.09 ppb
  • Wegeforth Elementary, 5.85 & 6.12 & 5.16 & 6.83 ppb
  • Whittier K-12, 5.19 ppb 

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

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 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.

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