SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - A water fountain in South Mountain Elementary School was removed because the water tested above normal levels for lead, South Orange Maplewood School District officials said.
Lead tests were recently conducted in the school, and test results from the water fountain near room 102 "registered at 15.7 ppb which is above the statutory limit of 15 ppb," district officials said in a letter to the community on Friday. Water test results greater than or eqal to 15 ppb are considered above lead action levels, according to the letter, and require additional follow-up.
Plumbing and filters will be replaced on the fountain and the fountain will not be installed back in the school until test results come back below lead action levels, district officials said. Lew Corp, is the district's lead testing company.
"We will communicate the results of that work to the community," district officials said in the letter.
The lead testing was part of the district's protocol to test all fountains and water sources in the district. In 2017, all drinking water fountains were equipped with a filter as an addition layer of protection from lead. A systerm was installed to regularly monitor and replace those filters.
More information about the water tests may be found on the South Orange Maplewood School District website. The link is available here and by visiting the district's website and clicking under the Business Office tab.
For additional questions regarding lead screening, contact the Maplewood Health Department at 973-762-8120 ext. 4400 or the South Orange Health Department at 973-378-7715 ext. 2020.
Parents and guardians who are concerned about lead exposure should consult with their primary care physician or pediatrician. In the event that the parent or guardian’s have limited or no health insurance, follow up through Zufall, a federal qualified health center is located at 95 Northfield Ave., West Orange. For an appointment, call 973-325-2266.
Superintendent of Schools Ronald Taylor and South Mountain Elementary School Principal Alyna Jacobs couldn't be reached as of this writing.