Education

Four Boston Public Schools test positive for elevated lead levels in drinking water

Thirty-eight schools with active water fountains were tested.

Boston Latin Academy was one school that had drinking fountains with elevated lead levels. BARRY CHIN/GLOBE

Boston Public Schools officials shut down fountains in four schools after a test revealed elevated levels of lead in the drinking water.

Fountains at the Thomas J. Kenny Elementary School in Dorchester, the Rafael Hernandez K-8 School in Roxbury, Boston Latin Academy in Dorchester, and the Richard J. Murphy K-8 School in Dorchester were shut down after tests found that lead levels in one or more water fountains exceeded the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s action level of 15 parts per billion.

Students have been given increased student access to bottled water, and the district said families at the four schools were notified about the elevated levels.

The district released a statement that said Health Services is available to speak with any parents who have concerns, or who might want their children tested. Thirty-eight schools with active water fountains were tested.

“The district is committed to ensuring that students have access to clean, potable water in all of our schools,” the statement said. “In the past, when the issue of lead in the public drinking water supply became a national health concern, BPS switched to bottled water across all schools. Recently, the district launched a plan to begin restoring water fountains in schools across the district, and is taking all necessary steps to make sure that any new water fountains made available to the public meet acceptable state and federal standards.”

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