BARTOW, Fla. – After finding elevated levels of lead in the water at four schools in Polk County, district officials say repairs and pipe replacements should help to improve the water supply but some high levels remain.
Last month, the water at Cleveland Court Elementary, Winston Academy of Engineering, Inwood Elementary and Union Academy were all found to have lead levels above 15 parts per billion, which is the max allowed by the district and meets the level set by the Environmental Protection Agency.
There is no amount of lead that is considered safe, however.
Cleveland Court and Inwood have been cleared, said Rory Luce, the district's maintenance services manager. One sample at Winston and four at Union remain elevated.
Even after additional testing, the water source will be re-piped or entirely taken out of service, he added.
Officials plan to test all 150 schools and learning centers and will test the oldest ones first, as schools built before 1986 are more likely to have problems.
"We will consistently be testing between 10-12 schools every week, week in and week out until every school we have ... will all be tested," Luce said.
If any issues are found, the district will replace pipes and fixtures as necessary. Children will be given bottled water as a safety precaution.
Emerald Morrow is a reporter with 10News WTSP. Like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. You can also email her at email@example.com.
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