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EBMUD Testing Water At Oakland Unified Schools For Lead

OAKLAND (CBS SF) – East Bay Municipal Utility District officials on Thursday will begin lead testing of tap water at all schools within the Oakland Unified School District, school district officials said.

Water testing teams will visit schools Thursday morning and test high-use water sources such as faucets and fountainheads. Testing will take place at all OUSD-run K-12 schools and some charter schools, OUSD officials said.

In August, OUSD officials acknowledged finding lead in the water at McClymonds High School. School officials there reported problems with the water supply, particularly from one water fountain at the football field and the cafeteria’s kitchen faucets.

In August 2016, lead was also discovered in the high school’s showers, which are out of commission.

Oakland Unified School District officials started conducting their own testing at all of its 86 other schools in August this year. They found lead contamination at some sinks and drinking fountains in seven other schools: Glenview Elementary School, Burckhalter Elementary School, Joaquin Miller Elementary, Brookfield Elementary School, American Indian Charter High School, Fruitvale Elementary School and Thornhill Elementary School.

OUSD spokesman John Sasaki said that water sources were shut down when lead was found inside, and that all faucets with elevated lead levels have been or will be replaced.

Sasaki said that no school in the district has had lead throughout its water system, indicating that it’s not the pipes that are causing the lead contamination, but rather the faucets and fountains.

OUSD officials said they expect EBMUD’s tests to reinforce the results from their own testing.

In a statement, OUSD Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell expressed enthusiasm about the district’s new partnership with EBMUD.

“It is already leading us to new collaboration between our two agencies around water meters, drought-resistant plants, and other water saving measures,” Johnson-Trammel said.

More information about the water testing effort is available at http://www.ousd.org/waterquality.

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