The ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan has brought to light the levels of lead in drinking water with many people asking the question: “Is Flint the only area that we should be concerned about?” While the full extent of the problem is unknown, many schools and educational institutions around the county are on a high state of alert. In fact there are several schools across the country that have discovered high levels of lead in the drinking water with experts warning there will be more to follow.
Unacceptable Levels of Lead Content Found in Drinking Water
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identifies levels of lead over 15 parts per billion as cause for extreme concern in drinking water. Many school districts across the country have begun to investigate their water supplies after the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, where the city’s entire municipal water supply was revealed to be delivering water to residents that were contaminated with unsafe levels of lead.
Lead Poisoning Symptoms in Children
Experts believe that schools are particularly vulnerable to levels of contamination from ageing pipes, valves and faucets. Exposure to lead can affect the brain and nervous systems in children and adults but the full extent of contamination within the school system is currently unknown. Many schools have already shut off the drinking supplies of water after discovering that levels of lead exceed what is considered safe. The EPA does not require schools to test water from public water supplies since public water systems perform their own levels of testing.
How Does Lead Get Into Drinking Water
In 2004, federal lawmakers introduced a bill that would require all schools to test annually for lead but the bill failed to pass. Schools in particular pose special challenges and not just for the students who are particularly vulnerable to the effects of lead on their developing brains and bodies. Unlike residential houses, the water supply within schools often go through long periods of time where they are not used for example long weekends and school holidays. Lead pipes have been banned for decades but lead can leach into the water supply through faucets and ageing pipes.
Water Lead Testing
Experts caution that even regular testing can miss lead particles that can flake off into the water supply from older plumbing. Running water for a period of time to get rid of the standing water doesn’t necessarily wash all of the lead out of the water and many buildings constructed before 2014 have some plumbing that will include lead. The experienced professionals at AAA Water Team stress that any building built before 2014 should be tested and require the use of lead-certified filters at every tap to ensure that our children are protected. As recently as 2014, nearly 1.5% of children under the age of six in New York State tested for excessive amounts of lead in their blood. Many superintendents are committed to testing drinking water on a regular basis to ensure the health and well being of the children in their charge. Children who are exposed to lead can suffer from irreversible developmental problems such as lowered intelligence and hyperactivity.
For information about water filtration systems and how to protect your family from contaminants within the water supply, contact the professionals at AAA Water Team today in Naples, Cape Coral, Fort Myers or Lehigh Acres, Florida