By Melissa Garcia

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Some parents who live in Jefferson County are feeling uneasy after schools found lead in the drinking water.

Tests showed elevated lead levels in drinking water at two elementary schools in Jeffco Public Schools. Officials planned to test the water at every school in the district before the end of the summer break.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The school district mailed out letters to the parents of Slater and Edgewater Elementary Schools informing them of the lead levels detected in the water.

A school spokesperson said that contaminated sources had been shut down until the problem could be fixed.

According to Jeffco Public Schools most of the test samples, taken from sinks and drinking fountains, showed lead levels that were elevated only slightly.

Two samples taken from the water at Slater Elementary tested at over 100 parts per billion, and one of those samples tested at nearly 120 parts per billion. That is nearly eight times more than the 15 parts per billion allowed by EPA standards.

“That’s a pretty high number,” said LaSheree Huntley, mother to two students at Slater Elementary.

Fifty-one water samples taken at Slater found that eight locations around the school had elevated lead levels.

Signs posted on sinks and drinking fountains warned “not to consume.”

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“It makes me very upset,” said Huntley. “I thought that schools yearly tested for lead.”

According to Jeffco Public Schools, schools are not required to test for lead in water.

Jeffco officials said that as a precaution, they took a proactive initiative in deciding to run tests district-wide, after an Arvada Head Start found lead in its water in April.

Slater and Edgewater Elementary Schools were the first two schools out of 154 total schools in Jefferson County to be tested for lead. As of Friday afternoon, officials said results on additional schools tested had not yet come back.

School officials said the lead may be coming from old and deteriorating fixtures and pipes that do not meet today’s standards.

CBS4's Melissa Garcia interviews Dr. Steve Perry (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Melissa Garcia interviews Dr. Steve Perry (credit: CBS)

Jeffco parents who are concerned can have their kids tested for lead at their child’s doctor’s office.

Dr. Steve Perry, a Pediatrician at Cherry Creek Pediatrics said that a simple blood draw can find out if a child has been exposed. He said that long-term exposure to lead in children can lead to developmental problems.

“The developmental and learning issues are the biggest things that we worry about. In really severe exposures, it can lead to even more serious things like seizures,” said Perry.

The district planned to mitigate the lead problems before classes resume in August.

For any locations that cannot be fixed in time for the new school year, officials said that the district would keep those water sources shut down and that they would bring in bottled water.

Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to mkgarcia@cbs.com.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s