NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - Nearly one month after lead was discovered in the water at George Davis Elementary School in New Rochelle, forcing the shuttering of all drinking sources, contaminants were found in several other schools this week.
Last week, schools officials announced that drinking fountains had been closed at the Barnard Childhood Center, Ward and Jefferson Elementary Schools where levels of lead were found above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended level.
In May, the district voluntarily opted to test the district’s water, which showed that some water samples tested above the EPA’s recommended action level for lead in drinking water.
More extensive testing revolted that multiple drinking fountains and sinks at Davis, Ward, Jefferson and Barnard tested above the recommended level of 20 parts per billion.
After reviewing advice and data from consultants advising the district about the contaminated water, the district determined that it was best to shutter the schools’ drinking water fountains. The fountains were officially shut down on Monday, with bottled water supplied to the afflicted locations.
Since the lead was discovered in the Davis water system several weeks ago, the district has been working with Westchester County of Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler to take the necessary steps to rectify the problem. For the remainder of the school year, the district will continue supplying buildings with five-gallon bottled water containers and other alternate water sources.
“As more test results become available to the school district, immediate steps will be taken if necessary,” Schools Superintendent Brian Osborne said in a statement to parents. “Once the district receives the completed full report from our consultants, we will post it to the district website.
“Count on us to communicate with you along the way and to ensure the safety of your children.”
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