Washington County schools training for proper lead testing in sc - FOX10 News | WALA

Washington County schools training for proper lead testing 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)
WASHINGTON COUNTY, AL (WALA) -

A FOX10 News Investigation continues to get results. 

After FOX10 News Investigates exposed the lack of lead testing in local school drinking water, school systems across Alabama are now beginning to test. 

In Washington County, training for proper testing took place this week, and school system leaders are developing a plan to make sure the water in its schools is safe to drink. 

"Every building we have has plumbing that has been modified during the '80s, so we need to do the testing," explained Washington County School Superintendent John Dickey. 

Dickey said he's glad FOX10 News asked about his lead testing plans. 

"Originally, I didn't think much about it, until I started getting emails from you, it did get me thinking you know that something we need to do," Dickey said. "Not knowing, the uncertainty of what we are feeding our children, it's important, I don't want to be poisoning our students."

Now, Washington County school staff members are learning how to test properly, according to the guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency. 

After a FOX10 News investigation last year discovered there was no state law requiring schools to test, the Alabama State Department of Education encouraged all school systems to do so. 

Over the past year, other states have also begun testing. 

Online public records show in New York, hundreds of schools across the state were found to have dangerous amounts of lead in various water faucets and fountains. 

"We want to do it to make sure that we are not exposing our students and our faculty to something unhealthy," Dickey said.

Dickey said he anticipates testing in Washington County schools to begin sometime in April or May. 

Baldwin county schools completed its testing this week, with all results coming back below the legal limit for lead content. 

A few months ago, Mobile County schools hired a firm to test all of its schools over the next three years. 

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