12 SCS schools test positive for high levels of lead in water

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Twelve schools in the Shelby County Schools district tested positive for lead levels in water sources higher than allowed.

  • White Station High School
  • White Station Middle School
  • Keystone Elementary School
  • Northaven Elementary
  • Woodstock Middle School
  • Hamilton Middle School
  • Sheffield Elementary School
  • Southwest Career and Technical School
  • Hanley Pre-K
  • Raleigh-Bartlett Meadows Elementary School
  • Fairview/Middle College/Maxine Smith STEAM
  • Raineswood Residential Training Center

A release from SCS said the schools were found to have one or more water sources with lead level test results equal to or exceeding twenty parts per billion (20 ppb), an event that prompts immediate corrective action and mandatory reporting to specific state and local agencies, as well as parents and guardians of students enrolled at these schools.

Shelby County Schools and other school districts in Tennessee, are required by law to conduct lead water testing every other year to ensure all water sources meet federal and state guidelines.

SCS last tested its water sources in 2019. The latest round of testing was conducted during the 2021 winter break, SCS said.

“We are encouraged with the results. We’ve had a number of schools less than what we had during the 2019 testing. And of course, we are enacting our remediation plan,” said Shelby County Schools Chief of Business Operations Genard Phillips.

SCS said the district met with all 12 school leaders to discuss the results and notified parents and guardians.

All SCS drinking water sources have remained offline throughout the pandemic.

All affected drinking water sources will remain unavailable for use until retesting confirms the lead level of water no longer exceeds twenty parts per billion (20 ppb).

SCS said the district has committed to replacing all drinking fountains in schools with bottle filling stations that feature new filtration systems. They’re expected to be installed in all schools by January 31.

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