Elevated Lead Levels Found in Central Ohio Schools

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HEATH, Ohio (AP) – Officials say elevated levels of lead have been found in water at two schools in a central Ohio district.

Heath City Schools officials say water samples taken last month from a drinking fountain at Heath Middle School and a kitchen sink at Garfield Elementary School showed lead levels well above recommendations by federal environmental regulators. Schools Superintendent Trevor Thomas says the fountain and sink will be fixed or replaced and spigots in all district buildings are being tested.

Access to untested fountains is restricted. Bottled water will be available to students and staff.

State environmental regulators say lead contamination usually happens when water comes into contact with old or corroded plumbing materials containing lead.

The news comes after Athens City School District’s East Elementary and Chauncey Elementary reportedly yielded “actionable levels” of lead during testing, which was reported to parents in an email from Superintendent Tom Gibbs on April 28. More testing is planned for the sites, and a public forum was also mentioned by Gibbs, to occur after information was gathered about the levels.