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Sep 2, 2016 1:14 PM

Manchester schools to address water testing results

MANCHESTER — After the many cases of lead contamination in public water systems nationally, Manchester Water Works has voluntarly decided to visit all of the city’s 22 schools over the summer to collect water samples from each of the nearly 500 sinks and drinking fountains.

An initial sample showed that 25 sinks and bubblers at the schools measured a lead level at or higher than the acceptable limit of 12 parts per million. After being retested twice, the samples showed up with much lower levels of lead. A third test confirmed that two sinks and one drinking fountain exceeded 15 ppm. They will be replaced, and until then, will not be used.

“The source of the lead is not the lake or water treatment facility,” said Philip Croasdale, director of Manchester Water Works. “Rather, lead can enter drinking water as a result of corrosion, as water comes into contact with pipes, plumbing connections, and fixtures. That’s why we can isolate our concerns to individual locations within a school.”

As an added precaution, 13 additional drinking fountains and classroom sinks identified after the second testing sample also will be turned off and remedied. Nine schools are affected: Gossler Park, Green Acres, Smyth Road, Jewett Street, Northwest, and Webster elementary schools; Hillside Middle School; and Central and West high schools, according to Andrea Alley, the communications coordinator in Manchester.

The health and protection of the children is the school's top priority.

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