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State inspectors find lead in Tucson schools' water - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

State inspectors find lead in Tucson schools' water

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TUCSON – State inspectors found numerous Southern Arizona schools with elevated levels of lead in the drinking water.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality tested 16,125 samples. About 96 percent passed the test, having less than 15 parts lead per billion. That standard is stricter than the national recommendation of 20 ppb. Schools in several districts needed "one or more corrective actions."

Results of the tests can be found on the ADEQ website. The map does not show the current status of the schools. It only shows the testing that was done. Many of the schools have resolved the problems.

The screening was voluntary and proactive. It was largely inspired by the water problems in Flint, Michigan. State officials are working with schools and districts to address the fixtures that failed the test. Many of the fixtures were not water fountains.

In an emailed statement, the director of the ADEQ Water Quality Division, Trevor Baggiore wrote, “ADEQ is proud to stand with the many people, including our partners at the public school districts, who helped complete this proactive screening program in record time. Protecting public health, especially the health of our children, is a primary part of our mission.”

The following schools were listed on the map as needing some type of corrective action at the time of the test. Some district representatives reached out to News Four Tucson to clarify their schools' current status.

  • Bisbee High School
  • Butterfield Elementary School
  • Challenger Middle School (contaminated source of non-drinking water turned off, according to district representative)
  • Flowing Wells High School
  • Joyce Clark Middle School
  • Los Ninos Elementary School (cleared of contamination, according to district representative)
  • Los Ranchitos Annex (contaminated water sources turned off, water delivery service in place, according to district representative)
  • Marion Donaldson Elementary School (cleared of contamination last summer, according to district representative)
  • Maxwell Middle School (cleared of contamination by October 26, according to district representative)
  • Mountain View High School
  • Nogales High School (cleared of contamination October 5, according to district representative)
  • Palo Verde High School (cleared of contamination by October 26, according to district representative)
  • Rincon / University High School (cleared of contamination by October 26, according to district representative)
  • Sabino High School (cleared of contamination by October 26, according to district representative)
  • Sahuaro High School (cleared of contamination by October 26, according to district representative)
  • Tortolita Middle School
  • Walter J. Meyer School
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