SCS reports high levels of lead found in water at public schools

SCS reports high levels of lead found in water at public schools

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Shelby County Schools system confirms high levels of lead have been found in the water at 10 public schools in Memphis.

The CDC says if children ingest even the tiniest amount of lead it can seriously impact their ability to learn and even alter their brain development.

Here are the 10 schools where water samples tested positive for lead levels above the EPA threshold:

  • Booker T. Washington High
  • Central High
  • Charjean Elementary
  • Chickasaw Middle
  • Double Tree Elementary
  • Gardenview Elementary
  • Havenview Middle
  • Sheffield High
  • Whitehaven Elementary
  • Whitehaven High

SCS held a press conference Thursday to address the recent findings.

SCS holds press conference to address high levels of lead found in water at public schools

Most of the sources of high lead in these schools came from old water fountains with lead pipes.

SCS says the fountains were shut off and immediately removed from use. District officials say these fountains do not have any effect on any other fountains or water sources in the buildings.

A Tennessee state law passed in 2018 requires schools to now check for lead in the water. This was the first round of testing SCS conducted. Read the district’s full response below:

“Shelby County Schools performed some routine lead testing of all water sources in our schools, which is a requirement by state law. The overwhelming majority of our schools showed minimal to no traces of lead in any fountains or water sources. Of the initial test results from 165 locations, 10 SCS schools had results that were approximately 1% above the EPA threshold in one or more specific fountains. Even though most of the affected fountains are not frequently used, as part of the District’s proactive and precautionary process, these fountains were all shut off and immediately removed from use, and they do not have any effect on any other fountains or water sources in the building. Parents at affected schools have been notified. SCS is following all of the proper procedures to safely remove these fountains from use and keep our children safe.”

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