San Diego

San Diego Unified School District Tests School Water for Lead

NBC 7 has learned which schools were tested in the first few days of the process.

The San Diego Unified School District began testing its schools' water this month after lab reports confirmed "higher than allowable" lead levels were found at one campus. 

The second largest school district in the state of California is working with the City of San Diego to systematically test five schools a day, Tuesday through Saturday.

NBC 7 has learned which schools were tested in the first few days of the process.

They include 15 elementary schools, two K-8 schools, three middle schools, two high schools and two charter schools on SDUSD property.

NBC 7 will map the schools to provide parents a way to see how the testing is going and click on each location to view updates.

The district said samples will be collected from water in the cafeteria, food prep areas and also drinking fountains.

The water at all schools within the district, including charter schools located on SDUSD property, will be tested for lead by the end of the traditional school year in June.

President of the San Diego Unified School Board Richard Barrera said the testing can only happen when the water is in regular use, when the schools are in session.

Samples will be collected Tuesday through Saturday since there are rules that water can't be sitting too long before testing, according to the district.

All schools in district and those on district property - approximately 200 will be tested.

The potential for lead contamination in the water supply is greater in buildings built before 1986. There are 447 schools across San Diego County built before 1986. See our map of schools where the risk is greater here.

NBC 7 has been covering the concerns regarding drinking water at area schools since lab results revealed high levels of lead, copper and bacteria in the drinking water at La Mirada Elementary School in San Ysidro.

Barrera explained that the state had planned to test all schools between now and 2019 but that the district asked for the process to be accelerated after lead was found in a water sample from Emerson-Bandini Elementary School.

Barrera said the district will be transparent regarding test results and will publish them online here.

Learn more about the testing on the district's web page here.

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