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Lead Information Center

Lead Information Center

August 28, 2018

At Polk County Public Schools, the health and safety of our students and staff members is always our top priority. To ensure the water at our school sites is safe for consumption, the school district has begun testing for lead content in water that comes from faucets, drinking fountains, and any other fixtures where the water is likely to be used for drinking or cooking.

With more than 150 school sites, lead testing will be ongoing for several months. We are beginning with schools that were built prior to 1986. After that date, building codes restricted the use of lead pipes. While we will eventually test all our schools, we are initially concentrating on those that are most at risk of having elevated lead content.

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that lead levels over 20 parts per billion be corrected in schools, but Polk County Public Schools has adopted the stricter threshold of 15 parts per billion. When we find lead levels at 15 parts per billion, we will communicate with parents of the affected schools, post the information here, and begin mitigation.

We’ve created our Lead Information Center as a hub for test results, official communications, and other materials to help you understand and stay up-to-day on this important health issue. Please check back for updates regularly.

What schools are being tested?

Polk County Public Schools is working with a consultant to conduct lead testing in the water of schools throughout the district. This testing has begun with older schools.

We will eventually test all of our more than 150 centers of learning. However, we are initially concentrating on those schools most at risk for elevated levels of lead.

Building codes changed after 1986, and certain plumbing materials that could add lead to water were further restricted. Therefore, schools built before 1986 will be prioritized to receive testing as soon as possible.

What are the health risks of lead exposure?

You can find information about the effects of lead exposure by visiting the Environmental Protection Agency’s website: https://www.epa.gov/lead

You can also contact your health care provider to discuss any concerns or questions.

How is lead measured?

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that lead levels over 20 parts per billion be corrected in schools. Polk County Public Schools is adopting a stricter threshold of 15 parts per billion.

What schools have been tested and what were the results?

So far, the following schools have been tested:

In these reports, you will want to review the third column from the left. The threshold that Polk County Public Schools has adopted is 0.015.

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that lead levels over 20 parts per billion be corrected in schools, but Polk County Public Schools has adopted the stricter threshold of 15 parts per billion.

These test results are preliminary, and a variety of factors can impact them. We would expect improved follow-up results as fixtures are replaced.

For more information, contact Rory Luce at 863-534-7895 or rory.luce@polk-fl.net