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Northport-East Northport schools find lead in water fountains

East Northport Middle School is seen in this

East Northport Middle School is seen in this file photo from June 17, 2012. Credit: Arielle Dollinger

Lead exceeding district standards was found in 12 water fountains in six buildings throughout the Northport-East Northport school district earlier this month, officials said, and those water fountains have been shut down.

According to a report dated May 3 and linked on the district’s website, excess lead was found in two drinking fountains at Dickinson Avenue Elementary, one at East Northport Middle School, one at Northport High, two at Norwood Avenue Elementary, three at Ocean Avenue Elementary and three at Pulaski Road Elementary.

In an email, the district said it posted a notice on its website about the lead testing results on Thursday and also sent letters to parents. The 12 water fountains were shut down after testing revealed that more than 15 parts per billion of lead were present. District officials said in an email their standards are more rigorous than the EPA’s.

“Testing for lead is voluntary. Due to recent concerns locally and nationwide the District acted proactively in response to these concerns. The district used higher standards than required, identifying water fountains at 15 ppb and above, while the EPA standard is 20 ppb for school districts,” district officials said in an email.

According to the notice posted on the school district’s website, it contracted with independent environmental testing firm EnviroScience Inc. in Ronkonkoma to conduct the lead testing at water fountains throughout its buildings.

The district said it was investigating the source of the lead and seeking remedies, including any replacements or repairs that may be necessary.

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