Water Testing at Newport Public Schools
In order to report to the RI General Assembly, the RIDOH with assistance from URI is testing for lead in school drinking water fountains and faucets. This is being done to assure drinking water in schools is safe.
Lead is not naturally found in water. Most lead found in drinking water is from lead leaching into the water from lead pipes, lead based solder, or plumbing fittings or fixtures. It wasn’t until 1986 that lead was prohibited for use in pipe, plumbing fixtures, or solder in water systems.
The EPA has set an action level of 15 ppb (parts per billion) for lead in drinking water. Action is required for results greater than 15 ppb.
The results from 12 samples collected Feb 28th at 7 am indicate 4 water fountains exceeding 15ppb at RHS and 8 samples below 15 ppb from Pell Elementary School and TMS.
The four water fountains with results above 15 ppb have been taken out of service.
Additional sampling will be taken under the supervision of the Newport Water Lab. An assessment of the plumbing at RHS will be conducted in order to implement control measures to reduce elevated lead levels and protocols and procedures recommended are and will be followed until the situation is resolved.
Elevated lead levels were not found at the Claiborne Pell Elementary School or the Frank E. Thompson Middle School.