“Detectable” lead levels found in LaBrae school building

Superintendent A.J. Calderone said the water is safe but said the district is taking precautions

“Detectable” lead levels found in LaBrae school building

Leavittsburg, Ohio (WYTV) – Detectable levels of lead were found in the water at Bascom Elementary School, following voluntary water testing conducted by LaBrae Local School District.

Superintendent A.J. Calderone said finding lead was not unexpected.

“Anybody that has a facility that is as old as our elementary — 50/60 years old — to be honest, they are kidding themselves if they think there’s not some level of lead content in the pipe, considering the type of construction material that was used,” Calderone said.

A dozen test results were returned Thursday from 100 samples that were collected. Those samples showed lead in the water at the elementary school, but those levels were not above the federal action level of 15 parts per billion set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“We are at safe levels. Our drinking supply is a safe level. All of our water fountain is at safe levels,” Calderone said, adding that levels found at the school were around 5 ppb.

A letter was sent to parents of students on Thursday, notifying them of the lead levels. The district said it decided to test the water, due to recent issues in Sebring and Flint, Michigan and due to the age of the buildings.

The district is now consulting with the Trumbull County Health Department and Ohio EPA to seek further guidance on the issue. The Health Department says water is safe to consume after the flushing of a faucet, as long as the contaminant level is below 15 ppb, according to the letter.

Calderone said the faucets will be flushed each morning as well.

“Our goal in the next seven to 10 days, once all the data is in, is to schedule a community meeting for our parents to show up so we will be able to answer all of their questions, and we are working making sure, hopefully, we can get someone from the Health Department here as a professional to answer all of the specific questions parents may have,” he said.

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