I-Team: Water testing finds lead below 'action levels' in most Cincinnati Public Schools

Posted at 5:15 PM, Sep 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-02 18:26:05-04

CINCINNATI -- Results from Greater Cincinnati Water Works show that many of Cincinnati's public schools tested positive for some amount of lead, but mostly below the maximum acceptable levels.

Water in 14 schools tested negative for lead. Tests found lead in one location at 21 schools, but in levels that weren't high enough for concern. Nineteen schools tested positive for lead at two locations, but most also mostly within acceptable levels.

"Cincinnati Public School results show that they were fine," Interim Cincinnati Health Commissioner O'dell Owens said. "They were all normal. They asked for it, and the levels that they found were in the normal range."

View the full results below.

GCWW recommends Cincinnati Public Schools follow-up sampling in some schools where “some results appear to be higher than expected and may reveal the need to implement measures to reduce lead or replace fixtures.”

Only one of the 55 schools in the district -- Hyde Park School -- was believed to have a lead service line, though school officials said it was later determined to be copper. The school district tested the water there and said the lead levels are below normal.

Water Works plans to re-test the water there to verify the district's results.

"I'm pretty glad that they're doing it, so that we know as parents that our kids aren't drinking toxic water or our food is not being cooked in toxic water," Gamble Montessori coach/parent Roberto Allen said.

Lead testing in public schools is not federally required, but many school districts decided to do the testing after the water crisis in Flint, Michigan came to light earlier this year.

"I think more districts should," Owens said. "I think people are afraid, afraid they are going to find our that they do have a problem."

GCWW is testing for lead at CPS schools, other area school districts and several private schools for free.

Lead testing hadn't been done in CPS schools for at least 20 years, according to the district. Many schools were rebuilt in the early 2000s after a bond measure passed, so they have no lead pipes at all.

Here are the lead testing results:

Greater Cincinnati Water Works CPS lead testing by James on Scribd