BCBE: No elevated lead levels in school drinking water - FOX10 News | WALA

BCBE: No elevated lead levels in school drinking water

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Water fountain (Credit: Franz Barraza, Chief Photographer FOX10 News) Water fountain (Credit: Franz Barraza, Chief Photographer FOX10 News)

One year after FOX10 News Investigates exposed the lack of lead testing in school drinking water in Baldwin County Public Schools, the Baldwin County Board of Education (BCBE) has announced it has tested all 45 of its schools, and the results show "no detectable lead was found," according to a news release sent out Monday, November 13. 

“We are so grateful that eleven water authorities in Baldwin County – certified water operators – have completed water sampling for lead in all 45 of our Baldwin County Public Schools and we are extremely pleased to say that the testing laboratory’s final report shows there were no detectable levels of lead found,” said Eddie Tyler, Superintendent, in the release.

According to the release, the utility companies who conducted the sampling for the school system followed the testing guidelines set forth by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM). 

According to the release, only one out-of-service water fountain at Summerdale School had elevated lead levels, but school officials said a re-test showed there were no detectable levels found at that particular fountain. 

FOX10 News Investigates has requested copies of the testing documents, and will keep you updated as soon as the Investigative Team receives and reviews them. 

However, FOX10 News Investigates was able to take a closer look at the testing results documents posted on the BCBE website.

While all of the results were under the maximum limit allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there were a couple results that were higher than the others. 

The EPA said the legal limit for lead content in public water systems is 15 parts per billion (ppb), and the maximum limit in schools is 20 ppb. 

According to the Baldwin County School System results, the water out of the cafeteria sink at Silverhill Elementary School had a lead level of 13 ppb, and the water sampled from the culinary kitchen sink at the South Baldwin Center for Technology had a level of 11 ppb. 

School officials said there were 329 samples taken among the 45 different schools, coming at a cost of $9,850. The laboratory who completed the testing was PACE Analytical Services, LLC. 

To see the results in further detail, click here. 

Other school systems across the state are also beginning to test for lead, as it was mandated by the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) last November. The mandate came amid a FOX10 News Investigation into elevated lead levels in local drinking water supply, which also exposed local school systems were not previously testing, as the Investigative Team found there was no state law requiring them to do so. 

Earlier this year, the Mobile County School System (MCPSS) announced it would be testing all of its schools over the next three years

The Washington County School System told FOX10 News Investigates it will be conducting training this week for proper lead testing, and invited FOX10 News Investigates to attend and cover the training sessions. 

FOX10 News Investigates will keep you posted as more lead testing results in public school systems are released. 

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