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Monday, December 4, 2006

Lead detected in Medfield schools' water

MEDFIELD

Two elementary schools in Medfield are relying on bottled water for all their drinking and cooking needs, after periodic water testing detected lead levels that exceeded state Department of Environmental Protection regulations.

Two samples taken at the Dale Street School and one of two samples from the Wheelock School exceeded DEP guidelines. However, only one of the four samples exceeded less-stringent federal lead regulations. No problems were detected in similar tests performed last year.

School Superintendent Robert Maguire said the school water systems have been flushed and new water samples taken, though an analysis of the new samples has not been completed.

Maguire said that water quality experts have told him that the high lead levels may simply be a result of water stagnating in pipes too long.

School officials will determine whether additional steps should be taken to prevent future lead contamination after analyzing the most recent test results.

"The solution that we know right now is a good one, whether we have to do it for one week or three months, is the bottled water," Maguire said.

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