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High lead levels found in water at over 100 schools

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By Sal Christ

The number of Jeffco schools affected by unsafe levels of lead in drinking water from at least one sink or water fountain has risen to 109.

According to documents posted to the district’s website, approximately 7,500 samples have been taken from 144 schools since June 3, and more than 500 of those samples showed lead levels above the Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum allowable level, which is 15 parts per billion.

As of Wednesday morning, test results are back for 137 schools, and approximately 80 percent have lead levels above the EPA threshold.

The test results show that a significant number of classroom and laboratory sinks are affected, as well as numerous food service sinks and sprayers, and drinking fountains in girls’ locker rooms at several schools. The lead levels at the affected schools range from 15.1 to 3,704.8 parts per billion.

Commenting on the latest numbers, district spokeswoman Diana Wilson said some of the results were expected due to the age of many of the buildings.

“Considering the age of many of our schools, we knew there was a risk that some of the plumbing fixtures could result in lead content in the drinking water being above the EPA recommended level. That is exactly what led us to test,” she said.

Six months ago, the district began testing its drinking water after high lead levels were found at the Head Start building the district previously owned in Arvada. Since then pipes and plumbing at several schools have been replaced, and a remediation plan has been developed.

Still, district officials said at a special meeting of the Jeffco school board in late July that the district hadn’t tested for lead since 1990 — partially because it wasn’t legally required to do so.

Test results for a handful of schools are still forthcoming, but do not include charter schools. Wilson said that of the school district’s 155 schools, 10 percent are charters, and “their facilities are not maintained by the district.”

For more details, view the Courier’s spreadsheet at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1R-dQAdLRmexYaMLj2tk-OKzbmuy3l-05....

Schools with high lead levels:

Alameda Jr./Sr. High School, Lakewood

Allendale Elementary, Arvada

Arvada K-8, Arvada

Arvada High School, Arvada

Bear Creek High School, Lakewood

Bear Creek K-8, Lakewood

Bell Middle School, Golden

Bergen Meadow Elementary, Evergreen

Blue Heron Elementary, Littleton

Bradford Elementary, Littleton

Bradford Intermediate School, Littleton

Brady Exploration School, Lakewood

Campbell Elementary, Arvada

Carmody Middle School, Lakewood

Chatfield High School, Littleton

Colorow Elementary, Littleton

Columbine High School, Littleton

Conifer High School, Conifer

Dakota Ridge High School, Littleton

Deane Elementary, Lakewood

Dennison Elementary, Lakewood

Deer Creek Middle School, Littleton

Drake Middle School, Arvada

Dutch Creek Elementary, Littleton

Edgewater Elementary, Edgewater

Eiber Elementary, Lakewood

Elk Creek Elementary, Conifer

Emory Elementary, Lakewood

Evergreen High School, Evergreen

Evergreen Middle School, Evergreen

Everitt Middle School, Wheat Ridge

Fairmount Elementary, Golden

Fitzmorris Elementary, Arvada

Foothills Elementary, Lakewood

Foster Elementary, Arvada

Fremont Elementary, Arvada

Governor’s Ranch Elementary, Littleton

Green Gables Elementary, Lakewood

Green Mountain Elementary, Lakewood

Green Mountain High School, Lakewood

Hackberry Hill Elementary, Arvada

Jeffco Open School, Lakewood

Jefferson Jr./Sr. High School, Edgewater

Ken Caryl Middle School, Littleton

Kendrick Lakes Elementary, Lakewood

Kullerstrand Elementary, Golden

Kyffin Elementary, Golden

Lasley Elementary, Lakewood

Lawrence Elementary, Arvada

Leawood Elementary, Littleton

Little Elementary, Arvada

Lumberg Elementary, Edgewater

Mandalay Middle School, Westminster

Manning Options School, Golden

Maple Grove Elementary, Golden

Marshdale Elementary, Evergreen

Mitchell Elementary, Golden

Molholm Elementary, Lakewood

Moore Middle School, Arvada

Mortensen Elementary, Littleton

Mount Carbon Elementary, Littleton

North Arvada Middle School, Arvada

Oberon Middle School, Arvada

Parmalee Elementary, Indian Hills

Parr Elementary, Arvada

Patterson International, Lakewood

Peck Elementary, Arvada

Peiffer Elementary, Littleton

Pleasant View Elementary, Golden

Pomona High School, Arvada

Prospect Valley Elementary, Wheat Ridge

Ralston Elementary, Golden

Red Rocks Elementary, Morrison

Rooney Ranch Elementary, Lakewood

Ryan Elementary, Westminster

Secrest Elementary, Arvada

Secrest Cottages Elementary, Arvada

Semper Elementary, Westminster

Shaffer Elementary, Littleton

Shelton Elementary, Golden

Sierra Elementary, Arvada

Slater Elementary, Lakewood

South Lakewood Elementary, Lakewood

Standley Lake High School, Westminster

Stein Cottage Preschool, Lakewood

Stevens Elementary, Wheat Ridge

Stober Elementary, Lakewood

Stony Creek Elementary, Littleton

Stott Elementary, Arvada

Summit Ridge Middle School, Littleton

Swanson Elementary, Arvada

Thomson Elementary, Arvada

Ute Meadows Elementary, Littleton

Van Arsdale Elementary, Arvada

Vanderhoof Elementary, Arvada

Vivian Elementary, Lakewood

Warder Elementary, Arvada

Warrentech Central, Lakewood

Warrentech North, Arvada

Weber Elementary, Arvada

Welchester Elementary, Golden

Westgate Elementary, Lakewood

West Jefferson Elementary, Conifer

West Jefferson Middle School, Conifer

West Woods Elementary, Arvada

Wheat Ridge High School, Wheat Ridge

Wilmore-Davis Elementary, Wheat Ridge

Wilmot Elementary, Evergreen

Witt Elementary, Westminster

Contact reporter Sal Christ at sal@evergreenco.com or at 303-350-1035. Follow her on Twitter at @decriture.