Tests showed detectable lead levels in 3 Manassas City Public Schools

WASHINGTON — Testing of water this summer from drinking fountains and other water sources at Manassas City Public Schools turned up lead in three different samples, including one that was initially above acceptable federal standards, the city said in a statement Wednesday.

All told, the city tested 98 water samples taken from water coolers, drinking fountains and faucets that may have been used for drinking. The three devices where lead was detected have been taken out of service and will be replaced before the school year begins Aug. 29, according to the statement.

However, follow-up testing determined none of the samples tested above 20 parts per billion, the level at which the Environmental Protection Agency recommends schools take devices out of service. But Manassas City Public City Schools, which said the water has been “deemed safe,” decided to replace those devices anyway “as a proactive measure,” according to a statement.

The city said the testing at the school, which took place in June, was voluntary and conducted “as an additional safety measures for the students of the school system.” The Environmental Protection Agency recommends taking action, such as replacing pipes, when lead levels in public water systems reach 15 parts per billion or more.

The city utilities department last tested municipal drinking water in 2015.

Earlier this year, lead detected at a dozen D.C. public schools was not reported immediately to parents or school principals. That prompted outrage from District officials and led to the adoption of more stringent testing standards that would require action when lead levels of one part per billion are detected.

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Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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