KIVI: Lead found in water at 23 Boise schools

Elevated levels of lead have been found at nearly 200 water faucets and fixtures in 23 Boise schools, KIVI 6 On Your Side reported Wednesday.

Here’s the breakdown from Boise’s lead testing, as reported by KIVI’s Mike Sharp:

  • Twenty-three schools had at least one fixture exceeding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s limits of 15 parts per billion of lead: Collister, Garfield, Hawthorne, Highlands, Jefferson, Koelsch, Liberty, Maple Grove, Monroe, Mountain View, Owyhee, Pierce Park, Taft, Valley View, Washington and Whittier elementary schools; Madison Early Childhood Center; Fort Boise Middle High School; Fairmont, Hillside and North junior high schools; Borah and Capital high schools.
  • Four schools received a clean bill of health: Adams Elementary School; Hillcrest and Longfellow elementary schools; Boise High School.
  • Capital had the highest number of elevated test results, 44 in all.

The Boise district launched tests at 27 older schools earlier this fall, after lead was detected at Fairmont. The schools were all built before 1986, when Congress restricted the use of lead in faucets, pipes and plumbing materials.

The Boise School District announced the test results Wednesday, issuing a terse news release.

“Boise School District has now completed testing of the water at all 27 of our pre-1986 schools for lead,” the release read, in part. “This process involved identifying fixtures and fountains at each school that needed to be tested and taking water samples from each. Boise School District will continue to provide water service to the schools where drinking fountains and faucets are currently being replaced.”

The release included a link to the test results, but did not mention that 23 schools had fixtures exceeding EPA limits.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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