District Proactive Efforts Ensure High-Quality Drinking Water is Available at All Schools 

Facilities Team Installs Three to Six New Bi-level Filtered, High Efficiency Coolers
and Bottle Water Filling Stations at All District Schools

 
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As national attention is being drawn to the quality of our nation's drinking water, the Pittsburgh Public Schools felt it was vital to proactively assess the water in all of our schools and facilities across the District. This summer, the District tested all sinks and water fountains at 70 facilities.
 
Testing was conducted as recommended in the Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA) Revised Technical Guidance "3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking water in schools" dated October 2006. While all schools were tested, testing began in schools holding summer programming and moved to schools serving the District's youngest students. In addition to testing the water quality in each location, all schools had three (3) to six (6) new Elkay bi-level filtered, high efficiency coolers and bottle water filling stations installed.
 
By installing these new water fountains, we are ensuring that all students have access to chilled high-quality filtered drinking water. Of approximately 4,700 water samples (two samples per fixture) three percent (141) tested positive for lead levels above the recommended 20 parts per billion (ppb). Of those that tested positive, 14 were water fountains.  All problem fixtures were immediately shut-off and either removed or replaced.
 
In addition to removing or replacing fixtures found with elevated levels of lead, more than 20ppb, all replaced fixtures were retested. The low percentage and remaining isolated fixtures, with lead level concentration at or above 20ppb, indicate that there were no source water or facility wide lead concerns. Remaining fixtures were either removed or labeled. Signage was also posted across schools to identify non-drinking water fixtures 
 
Families will be notified by letter of  testing results at their school. The testing for elevated lead levels was conducted by consultants AGX, Inc. Environmental Consultants and Skelly and Loy Inc. Engineering and Environmental Consultants.  Full consultant reports and an FAQ can be found below. For additional information on lead visit parent resources. 


 
9-29-16 News Release:
 
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