After alarming levels of lead were found in D.C. public schools and other buildings, district officials have finished installing filters on all DCPS drinking sources, but are still working to get filters on fountains in recreation centers.
D.C.’s Department of General Services is in charge of that work.
“DGS completed the installation of filter systems on traditional drinking sources in D.C. Public Schools on August 19, 2016,” mayor’s office spokesman Shayne Wells said in an email to Fox 5. “This was comprised of 2,805 drinking water devices made up of coolers, fountains, health room sinks, and a kitchen food prep sink at each school. Installation of filtration systems on traditional drinking water sources in DPR Recreation Centers is progress and will conclude with sample collection by September 30th.”
FOX 5 was first to report on D.C.’s stringent new lead standards and plans to install filters on all drinking watersources at public schools, public libraries and rec centers, at a cost of $2 million at the onset and $1.5 million annually.
The news came after public officials apologized for failing to take proper steps after high levels of lead were discovered at multiple D.C. schools.
Over the summer, DGS tested all water sources at every school, library and rec center. Those tests revealed that about 6% of water sources, including 35 drinking fountains, exceeded EPA lead standards.
While the EPA says a lead level of 15 PPB (parts-per-billion) is acceptable, a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics said no lead level is safe for children. In June, D.C. decided to incorporate a 1 PPB lead standard for schools and rec centers.