EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Water in dozens of schools in Massachusetts has tested positive for elevated levels of lead.
The state plans to take water samples from more than 900 public school in Massachusetts to test for elevated levels of lead and copper. So far, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has tested about 300 schools. Out of the 6,000 samples taken at these schools, nearly 700 samples, or 10 percent, exceeded the state limit for lead in drinking water.
In some cases, the high levels of lead were found in water fountains and in water used to prepare food. In others, the high levels were only found in classroom sinks or bathrooms.
East Longmeadow High School is just one of the four schools in the town that tested positive for high levels of lead in their water. According to the results, three rooms at the high school tested positive. None of the positive tests were from the school’s water fountains.
According to MassDEP water fountains in at least three western Massachusetts schools exceeded the state’s regulatory limits.
These schools are: Pelham Elementary School, Southeast Campus at Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools and Stanley M. Koziol Elementary School in Ware.
Water in schools in Longmeadow, Amherst, Ware and Southwick also tested positive for elevated levels of lead but did not include any of the schools’ water fountains.
These tests are a part of the state’s $2 million program that started last Spring. The program is being led by the Department of Environmental Protection and is paid for by the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust.