STCC water fountains shut off over lead, copper concerns

Student reported being sickened after drinking discolored water

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – They’ve shut off the water fountains at Springfield Technical Community College, after high levels of lead, iron, and copper reportedly made a student sick.

The 22News I-Team went to STCC to investigate, and discovered it was first detected this summer, before students even returned to campus. Two sinks in one building tested positive for high levels of lead, copper, and iron.

STCC Director of Health Services Jonathon Miller told 22News that water system was flushed and the levels returned to normal, but then it happened again, this time in a different building. “We found some elevated levels of lead and copper and iron, in that, we found that it was a malfunction of that particular water fountain.”

The college told the I-Team they believe these are isolated incidents, and that lead leeched into the water from the water fountains and sinks, not from the water supply itself.

The school has also taken action to make sure students are safe. All of the water fountains across campus have been disabled while they work to test all of the water. They’ve also placed portable jugs of water in each building for students to drink.

Maureen Socha, the Assistant Vice President of Administration and Facilities at STCC said the water fountains will remain closed until the test results show it’s safe to drink again. “Again, we’re just really airing on the side of caution just to be safe. These are older buildings, and we just want to make sure out students, and faculty, and staff are fine,” she said.