Hillsborough County

Higher than acceptable levels of lead found in water at 21 Hillsborough schools

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) - In the wake of water testing at schools across the country that revealed lead in drinking water, the Hillsborough County School District has decided to conduct some of its own testing.  

The district issued a release on Tuesday saying it "is making proactive efforts to ensure the water our students and staff drink is safe for consumption.

According to the release, federal guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency recommend action is taken when lead is measured at 20 parts per billion or higher.  The district is electing to use a stricter standard of 15 parts per billion.

So far, employees have tested water from 1,781 water fountains, taps and other sources at 58 Hillsborough County schools. 26 samples at 21 schools have tested positive for lead the district deems too high for consumption.  The list of schools that have been tested and other information can be found here. 

The release indicates the average age of school buildings in the district is 50 years-old, so school officials do anticipate the will find positive tests in some schools, but they would rather be proactive about the situation rather than reactive.

 It also says the faucets or fixtures that tested with higher levels than accepted are immediately shut down and corrected before being put back into service.

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