At Least Three SF Schools Test Positive for Lead in the Water

Water Supplies

On October 25, new water purity test results from the San Francisco school district indicated that three schools within the area have a high level of lead in their water supplies.

This report comes courtesy of SFGate. These results came from testing the taps and fountains from the 72 schools in the district. San Francisco International High School, West Portal, and Malcolm X (the latter two being elementary schools) were found to have lead contamination in excess of federal safe levels of 15 parts per billion.

“We’re letting people know as much information as quickly as possible,” Superintendent Vince Matthews said in a statement. According to the testing officials, the water itself being sent to the schools is safe, taken from a clean source. The pipes themselves, as well as various fixtures and the soldering used to hold them together, is what's made from lead. This lead in turn leaks into the water as it travels through the pipes, leading to this health hazard.

Superintendent Matthews also added that the district is conducting more tests to pinpoint exactly which pipes are the cause of the high lead levels, and that the schools will be distributing water bottles until this can be done. After that, the district plans to replace all the metal potentially contaminating the water supply into the school.

These tests came as a result of Flint, Michigan's water crisis, which has yet to be resolved. In January, California schools were given the option to request voluntary water purity tests, of which over 1,600 did. Currently, about 1,100 of those schools have been tested this year, with 35 being found to contain unsafe lead levels in their water supplies.

Fortunately for California, though, this does not seem to be the case of tainted water supplies like in Flint, with the problem lying in old and hazardous infrastructure that can be replaced


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