Boston Public Schools will host two water safety information sessions for families after four of its schools tested positive for elevated lead levels in the drinking water last month.
Of the 38 schools with active water fountains tested, four had lead levels in one or more water fountains that exceeded the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s action level of 15 parts per billion. As a result, the fountains at those schools were shut down. In addition, water fountains were turned on prematurely at six schools taking part in a pilot program to repair plumbing so that fountain water could be restored. Two district employees have been placed on administrative leave while officials investigate.
The first water safety information session will take place Monday night at 2300 Washington St. Superintendent Tommy Chang, as well as Kim Rice, assistant superintendent of operations for the district, John Sullivan, chief engineer at the Boston Water & Sewer Commission, and Dr. Sean Palfrey, of Boston Medical Center who is also a professor of pediatrics and public health at Boston University, will attend. The meeting is open to the media.
The second meeting, which will take place Tuesday at 8 a.m., is closed to the media. Officials have closed Tuesday’s meeting to the media “to accommodate families in desire of a safe space to speak freely about their children and concerns,” according to a district statement.
Massachusetts officials have announced they will devote $2 million to test drinking water at public schools across the state.