Many schools testing above acceptable levels for lead

Districts taking steps to protect students

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Dozens of schools across western Massachusetts and hundreds statewide tested for higher than acceptable levels of lead and copper.

Eleven of the schools tested are in Holyoke, they all had higher than acceptable levels of lead at certain fixtures. Ten of the 11 had higher than acceptable copper levels as well.

Holyoke was not the only district with this problem, however. Schools in Greenfield, Easthampton, East Longmeadow, Chicopee, Springfield, Longmeadow, and many others made the list.

In Holyoke, they have taken steps to fix the issue. At both Dean Tech and Holyoke High School, they have let the people who drink the water know. At some schools, they have posted a physical note on the faucet, indicating that the fixture is not for drinking water. In other cases, they flush the affected water line daily, or replace the fixture.

Parents told 22News that the issue is a concern.

“Lead is very dangerous for the kids, and they should always keep an eye out for that,” Leyka Morales of Holyoke said.

Margot Barnes of Holyoke said that she is worried about her son’s health. “He has been getting sick with vomiting and everything, so I’m hoping and praying that it’s not the water,” Barnes said.

Massachusetts has spent $2.75 million to assist schools in testing their water. The report recommends an additional $600,000 be used to test schools.

If you would like to find out how your child’s school tested, click here.