SDUSD begins testing schools’ water for signs of lead

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The City of San Diego began testing water for lead Tuesday at schools in San Diego Unified School District.

Five schools will be tested daily — including charter schools that fall in SDUSD’s district — beginning in the southeast corner of the district where some of the oldest schools are located, according to San Diego Unified spokesperson Isabella McNeil. City staff will proceed north and west until all testing is complete.

"The safety and health of students and staff across San Diego Unified is the highest priority for the district," McNeil said. "Therefore, the district will be using a geographic approach that provides the most efficient testing."

Testing is expected to be completed by mid-June. 

Testing will occur before school begins to avoid any disruptions to learning. Up to five samples will be taken at each site. The sampling locations may include drinking fountains, cafeterias and food preparation areas. The city will analyze the water samples and notify the school district of the results. 

If results indicate there is lead above allowable levels, district staff will determine the source of contamination and take appropriate action on a case-by-case basis, McNeil said. 

The testing is a result of a petition in Dec. 2016 by The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Division of Driving Water, that all community water providers, including the City of San Diego, test for lead in drinking water at K-12 schools. 

Testing in other districts in San Diego County found two schools in the Southcrest area and three schools in the San Ysidro area had elevated levels of lead. 

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