East Irondequoit latest district to find lead in water
by: Justin Murphy
East Irondequoit is the latest local school district to find higher-than-healthy levels of lead in its water, it announced Friday.
Of 800 samples collected at six buildings, 65, or 8 percent, had more than 15 parts per billion of lead, the safety threshold established by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
Twenty-five of them were at Eastridge High School, 13 were at Helendale Road, 12 were at Laurelton-Pardee, seven were at Ivan Green, six were at the middle school and two were at Durand-Eastman. Those fixtures have been shut off; the district will now work with the Monroe County Health Department to replace the fixtures and make sure the levels are back to safe standards.
It will also continue testing its water for lead on a regular basis.
Since unsafe amounts of lead were found in the water in Flint, Michigan, and then in Ithaca and several Southern Tier school districts, local districts have been scrambling to test their water and assuage residents’ fears. So far, Brighton, Penfield and Pittsford have announced results of their testing and taken corrective measures.
It is likely that most districts will find at least some water sources with unsafe levels, since the water flows through pipes of varying ages. Experts on lead poisoning point out, however, that lead paint chips pose a greater threat to children’s safety than water in schools.