More testing for lead at Newark schools

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Toni Yates reporting live (WABC)

New Jersey officials are starting another round of testing water at schools across Newark after reports of elevated lead levels.

Investigators will be checking out all district water fountains and faucets for elevated levels of lead.

Earlier this week, students in New Jersey's largest school district were told not to drink the water because of elevated levels of lead. Newark public schools temporarily shut off all water fountains at 30 school buildings where elevated levels of lead were recorded. Bottled water and water coolers were brought in.

Water testing throughout the district already was being performed as part of an annual requirement when the lead was detected. School officials were made aware of the heightened levels Monday, but parents weren't notified until Wednesday with the help of state and county officials.

Alternative water supplies for drinking and food preparation have been delivered to all of the affected schools. Water fountains have been shut off with signs posted in the bathrooms, warning students not to drink the water.

The state DEP along with the Health Department are coordinating to perform further tests and review past lead test results from previous years.

The districts on Monday notified the DEP that annual testing found levels ranging from non-detect to above the EPA's action level for lead, which is 15 parts per billion.

The DEP has confirmed lead has not been found in the city's water supply.

The Newark school system has 35,054 students in 66 schools.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
Related Topics:
educationnew jersey newscontaminated waterdrinking waterNewark
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