Higher concentrations of lead found in three Sarasota Co. schools

Higher concentrations of lead found in three Sarasota Co. schools

SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - Although it is not mandatory for schools to test for lead, Sarasota County Schools has started conducting voluntary water testing in the area and found higher concentrations of lead in the water of three schools.

According to a release from the Sarasota County School District, the district began testing for lead after lead was found in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan.

Preliminary results found three test sites with lead levels above the EPA recommendation, including McIntosh Middle School, Venice Middle School and Englewood Elementary School, according to the release.

Engineers found minute traces of lead in faucets that provide water for cooking at McIntosh and Venice middle schools. Further south at Englewood Elementary, OHC Environmental Engineering found small traces of lead in drinking fountains in one building.

“We don’t have anything out there that we’ve scene come back from our pre-1986 buildings that say oh my god they’re loaded with lead,” said Jody Dumas with Sarasota County Schools.

Sarasota County Schools contracted with OHC Environmental Engineering to conduct sampling and selected schools built before 1986, when using lead fixtures became prohibited in public water systems, according to the release.

The first round of water testing took place in the following schools:

  • Alta Vista Elementary
  • Booker  High School
  • Gocio  Elementary
  • Sarasota  High School
  • Triad  Alternative School
  • Riverview  High School
  • Garden  Elementary
  • Southside  Elementary
  • Wilkinson  Elementary
  • Venice  High School
  • Bay  Haven Elementary
  • Fruitville  Elementary
  • Ashton  Elementary
  • Lakeview  Elementary
  • Brentwood  Elementary
  • McIntosh  Middle School
  • Englewood  Elementary
  • Venice  Middle School
  • Glenallen  Elementary

The district is replacing the cooking faucets, and the district is providing bottled water to the students in the contaminated building of Englewood Elementary School. The district told ABC7 it’s going to begin flushing the water systems in all schools at least once per year and annually test the water in buildings built before 1986, and added it will take the extra steps to test newer buildings if necessary.

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