More Newark schools found with high levels of lead in water

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NEWARK — Newark district shut down fountains at eight more facilities, including two charter schools, after new tests showed high levels of lead in water.

Parents were notified and water fountains and other water sources were turned off following the test results. The facilities, used by Newark public schools, were not included in the checks the city voluntarily conducts each year, the New York Times reported.

Officials gave the charter schools that tested high for lead the option to switch to bottled water.

The test results released by Newark school district Thursday showed that 76 of the 324 samples were above that agency’s action level, but only 16 — or about 5 percent — came from water fountains or other sources of drinking water.

Thirty schools were found with high lead levels. Immediate action was taken, but some parents said they weren't notified until later.

The newly released data are from the first of three sets of additional tests ordered after elevated lead levels were discovered in the district earlier this year.

The next group of tests will be conducted in the 30 schools where fountains have been turned off, with samples taken from every fountain and tap. After that, the water in the remaining 37 schools will be retested.

The results are the first phase of additional testing to come back from the lab following the discovery.

The eight sites were deemed Priority 1.

The city said its new strategy for testing will test for lead at every available water source in every building.