Water in All DC Schools to Be Retested for Lead

D.C. will retest drinking water in every public school in the District after low levels of lead were found in water at two schools.

City Administrator Rashad Young said the water at all 113 public schools will be retested to confirm its safety and "so that we can give confidence to parents and the community that the drinking water is safe."

D.C. performs nearly 4,000 water tests in schools every year. Low lead levels were found in 17 recent tests.

"That represents less than 1 percent of the water sources tested that required some remediation on our part," Young said as he led environmental officials and reporters on a tour Thursday of Simon Elementary School in Southeast D.C.

Officials acknowledged they were slow to inform parents at two schools about slightly elevated levels of lead in drinking water.

"We will not repeat any miscommunication," Young said.

Low levels of lead were found at Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan in Northeast D.C. and Payne Elementary in Southeast D.C., said Tommy Wells, director of the Department of Energy & Environment. 

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The levels were below what the Environmental Protection Agency deems dangerous, as News4 reported

No Capitol Hill Montessori student whose blood had been tested as of Thursday had elevated lead levels, Wells said. Testing is ongoing.

The biggest lead problem in D.C. is not lead in water but lead in paint, Wells said.

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