Back at the beginning of the school year last fall, before lead was discovered in the water of multiple schools in San Diego, a parent at Sunset View Elementary in Point Loma requested that officials test the school for lead.
Indeed, lead was discovered in a device at the school through which all water passes before it reaches sinks and faucets. What did San Diego Unified officials do with that knowledge? Officials told one person: the parent who’d asked for the test to begin with. They did not notify parents schoolwide, or take any steps to address the issue.
That’s because, officials say, the lead level didn’t trigger any further action. The lead detected was at 15 parts per billion, a number that, if it popped up now, might have caused a different reaction: “When the State Water Resources Control Board announced a new lead testing program in January – three months after the tests at Sunset View – it used a tougher standard, the 15-parts-per-billion standard, which was already used by the state’s Division of Drinking Water to ensure the safety of municipal drinking water supplies,” Ry Rivard reports.
The district said it has evidence that the drinking water within the school was not contaminated, “because five samples taken at fountains inside of the school showed lower levels of lead in the water.”
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher has introduced a bill in the state Legislature that would require schools to notify parents about any test that showed more than 15 parts per billion lead in school water.
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