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School district deals with lead problem

The Revere Public Schools are removing a number of water fountains and other water fixtures in their facilities after realizing that many contain high quantities of lead.

In August, the Environmental Protection Agency tested all of Revere schools for lead and copper, discovering seven cases where areas did not meet the state lead requirements. No issues for copper were discovered. The district received results from the test in December which led them to believe that they were in the clear, though a recent, more thorough examination of those results convinced administrators to take some precautionary measures.

According to Superintendent Dr. Dianne Kelly, in five of those cases, the school system was recommended to flush its water fixtures for 30 seconds each morning before use. However, the school district has decided to turn the water off of these units and replace them over the summer.

“We were told this is above and beyond what we have to do,” Kelly said at the School Committee meeting on May 23. “We are happy to do it.”

In two other cases, the amount of lead is too high to flush each morning. One of these units is a water fountain in a Lincoln School classroom and another is a sink in a classroom in Revere High School.

Thankfully, both of these units are already not used. The water fountain is too high for students to reach at Lincoln School. The sink in the classroom was used years ago for a home economics class but the room is now used as a special education classroom. Also, the faucet has been removed from the sink for years. However, the district is taking the extra step of removing these units permanently.

“We want to do what is best for our students,” Kelly said.

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