MNPS Amps Up Water Testing Before School Begins

MNPS Amps Up Water Testing Before School Begins
Posted at 4:59 PM, Jul 10, 2017

Metro School officials are promising to speed up efforts to test for lead in the district's drinking water.

This follows a NewsChannel 5 investigation that revealed high levels of lead were found in water tested last summer.

Tests Show Lead In Metro Schools' Drinking Water
MNPS Ignored Some High Lead Results, Kept Parents In Dark

In the plan announced Monday, the district says it will test water fountains in all schools and pre-k centers before the start of the school year.

“Checking the drinking water in our buildings is the right thing to do for children and for our employees,” said Dennis Neal, the district's executive director of facility and grounds maintenance. “It is something we wanted to do and felt we needed to do.”

The district says that testing will cost about $180,000. It's not clear how long before those results are back.

A news release stated: "At the request of Director of Schools Dr. Shawn Joseph and with the support of the Mayor’s Office, the tests will begin this week, beginning with elementary schools and early learning centers and continuing to middle and high schools. 

"The tests will be conducted following all required protocols for water quality sampling."

Officials say they decided to speed up the testing to reassure families and employees that the water is safe to drink.

Critics say Metro was slow to share the initial test results with parents.

Special Section:
NC5 Investigates: Lead in School Water