Due to a “high proportion of tested fountains with elevated lead levels” at outdoor parks, the Department of Public Works has turned off the water to all fountains in outdoor parks. Letter and survey from Mayor Setti Warren follow:
On May 17, the City was notified that an external drinking fountain at Family Access of Newton was found to have elevated lead levels. This fountain was turned off. After learning about this, the City decided to proactively test 7 public drinking fountains in the City’s parks to determine whether further action needed to be taken on external fountains. This testing took place on June 10th.
The results, received June 23, showed that 5 of 7 fountains tested were above the actionable level. These fountains are:
  • Cabot Park hardball field drinking fountain
  • Cabot Park softball field drinking fountain
  • Cabot Park tennis court drinking fountain
  • Crystal Lake bathhouse
  • Gath Pool right, rear drinking fountain
Department of Public Works immediately turned off the water to these 5 fountains and Department of Parks and Recreation began supplying bottled water at Crystal Lake and Gath Pool. The City also began evaluating potential options for remediation or additional testing. On June 29, based on the high proportion of tested fountains with elevated lead levels from this screening round, the City chose to turn off external fountains at the following locations:
  • Albemarle
  • Angier Park
  • Auburndale Cove
  • Bowen Park
  • Boyd Park
  • Burr Park
  • Cabot Park
  • Crystal Lake
  • Davis School
  • Emerson Playground
  • Farlow Park
  • Forte Park
  • Franklin School
  • Gath Pool
  • Hawthorne Park
  • Hyde Park
  • LFCC
  • Lyon’s Cove
  • Magni Colletti Park
  • Memorial Spaulding School
  • Nahanton Park Fieldhouse
  • New Cold Spring
  • Newton Centre Park
  • Newton Highlands Park
  • Peirce School
  • Police Park
  • Richardson Playground
  • Solomon Schecter
  • Stearns Playground
  • Upper Falls Playground
  • Ward Park
  • Warren House Park
  • Warren Lincoln Park
  • Wellington Playground
  • West Newton Common
We are currently evaluating options for remediation of these outdoor fountains. To make informed choices on next steps, we need public input. Please take a short survey at www.newtonma.gov/watersurvey to let us know how you and your family use the outdoor public drinking fountains. If you have any further questions, comments, or concerns, please email us at:  [email protected]. In the meantime, we are asking you to bring your own drinks when you visit our parks.
The safety of children and families is of the highest importance to us. We hope to hear from you and find solutions that meet residents’ needs and expectations.

Setti D. Warren
City of Newton, MA

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