Northwest Allen County Schools (NACS) sent out a memo to parents informing them that 21 water fixtures in their schools has lead levels that the EPA considers too high.
NACS said they voluntarily participated in a state program offered to all Indiana public schools to test the drinking water for lead. Specifically, it tests water fixtures that provide drinking or cooking water to students.
The district had a total of 516 fixtures tested, and found that 96 percent did not present lead levels that exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “action level” of 15 parts per billion.
21 fixtures were found to have lead levels that exceeded the EPA’s action level, which the EPA says is not a measure of health effects. The "action level" serves as a signal to the school to take steps to reduce lead in the water.
The flagged fixtures were found at Cedar Canyon Elementary, Carroll High, Carroll Middle, Hickory Center Elementary, Huntertown Elementary, Maple Creek Middle, Oak View Elementary and Perry Hill Elementary schools.
The school said lead found in tap water typically comes from the corrosion of interior plumbing fixtures and materials that contain lead, not usually the municipal water supply.
"Through this process, we have learned about additional ways to reduce exposure so NACS can become and maintain a lead-free environment for our students and our community," the school said in the memo.
NACS said the action level fixtures have been fixed, and they are in the process of retesting them.