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Feb 3, 2016 4:59 PM

Elevated levels of lead found in water at a Derry elementary school


DERRY - Some parents are concerned after elevated levels of lead were found in the water at East Derry Memorial Elementary School.

The first signs of lead showed up in a test in December, but officials said there was a chance that the sample was tainted, so more tests had to be done to confirm.

Last week, a final test showed lead in 4 of 20 samples taken from the school. Superintendent Dr. Laura Nelson, sent a letter to parents and held a public forum last week. About 30 concerned parents attended the meeting to get more information and to ask questions.

School officials said the well water is fine and believe the contamination is happening due to corrosion on pipes.

They're working to pinpoint the exact location and to find the best plan to treat the water.

Dr. Nelson confirmed that none of the drinking fountains contain any lead.

The school said their top concern is to ensure the safety of their students.

"We're looking at developing a local coordinated effort so that we can look at where we move forward with this, in terms of students being tested for lead," Dr. Nelson said.

According to information sent out by the school, lead build-ups in the body over the course of many years can cause damage to the brain, red blood cells and kidneys. For children, it could slow down normal mental and physical development.

Officials will also be working to notify students who attended this school as far back as December 2012, since that is the last time the water levels tested safe.


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