From David Fleishman, Newton’s Superintendent of Schools…
Dear Newton Community,
To ensure the health and safety of all students, staff and visitors to the Newton Public Schools, the City of Newton Department of Public Works, in conjunction with the Health and Human Services Department, recently conducted water quality testing of drinking fountains in all 23 school buildings in Newton. This testing went beyond the state-mandated testing conducted yearly and was done as a precautionary measure to safeguard the health and wellness of all students and staff.
With the exception of Burr Elementary, the samples tested in all of the schools showed lead levels below the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (Mass DEP) safe drinking water standard of 15 micrograms per liter. Specific data and results for all schools will be sent out as soon as they are received and will be posted on the district website. The water is safe to drink in all of these schools. We will continue to monitor the buildings to ensure the water quality moving forward.
At Burr Elementary School, a sample from one drinking fountain found slightly elevated levels of lead (26.6 mcg/L vs.15 mcg/L Mass DEP standard). As a result of this finding, we immediately shut off the water to this drinking fountain and all other drinking fountains at the Burr School. Additional testing was conducted this morning.
When those results are received, we will immediately take action to remediate the issue and eliminate the problem. Until the results are confirmed and the
issue resolved, bottled water will be provided to all students and staff at Burr.
We will provide test results for Burr School once they are received and outline the remediation action plan and the monitoring protocol. For additional resources on lead in drinking water, please see the attached fact sheet from Mass DEP or visit the CDC website at: www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/tips/water.htm.
The health and safety of all Newton students and staff is paramount. Every action step will be taken to ensure the ongoing safety of water in our school buildings. Should you have any questions, please contact the Newton Department of Health and Human Services at 617-796-1420.
Superintendent of Schools