‘Slightly elevated’ lead levels prompts testing at some Farmington schools

Farmington Public Schools plans to take a closer look at water fountains and fixtures at five school buildings, after voluntary testing turned up lead at levels that slightly exceed what’s allowed.

George Heitsch
Superintendent Dr. George Heitsch

In a letter to parents, Superintendent Dr. George Heitsch said that initial findings from the April 16 testing conducted by Arch Environmental Group “highlighted five buildings where a fountain or sink was found to have slightly elevated levels above the action levels. To put this in perspective, the lead level is to not exceed the number 15 and the highest in this group was a 37. A level of 500 is considered to be ‘high’.”

Two drinking fountains at Beechview Elementary School, a kitchen sink at Harrison High School, a science classroom sink faucet at North Farmington High School, a gym water fountain at Warner Upper Elementary School, and a hallway water fountain at Visions Unlimited were identified in the initial testing. Follow up testing will be completed on April 30, Heitsch said, “to provide assurance to our staff and families that our water is safe.” Those results will be shared as well.

Heitsch’s letter noted that an elevated lead level can be attributed to a specific drinking fountain or sink, rather than a problem with the entire water supply system.

“Please rest assured, in the event that we find any problems, we will address them promptly,” he concluded. “As always, the safety of our students, staff and families is our number one priority.”