Grosse Pointe takes action after 6 schools test high for lead, copper in water

- First Flint and Detroit, now Grosse Pointe.

High levels of lead have been discovered in some Grosse Pointe Public Schools. Water samples show levels well above the EPA's threshold in water coming from drinking fountains and sinks.

After everything that happened in Flint, the Grosse Pointe school district didn't want to take any chances.  On Monday the superintendent was very transparent with the results and now he says the administration plans to take action.

Parent Diana Degen took a closer look at the numbers after learning six out of the 15 Grosse Pointe Public Schools - one of the wealthiest districts in the state - has elevated levels of lead and copper.

"I am very concerned," she said.  "I would think the place where my kids go to school is healthy. We don't want our kids getting sick extremely ill drinking this water the sooner the better problem fixed."

Superintendent Gary Niehaus announced the findings Monday. Last month, a company took 130 samples from the schools sinks and water fountains.

Test results shows 10 were above the EPA's lead action level.  The affected schools are Barnes, Pierce and Brownell middle schools and Defer, Kerby and Maire elementaries.

The levels were extremely high at first draw, but when it was tested again after the water ran for two minutes the lead level went down, which Niehaus says showed it was a problem with individual fixtures rather than a systemic issue.

How much of a concern?

"They have been drinking out of it for a period of time," Niehaus said. "During that time we need to look into what those results might be."

In the meantime the district plans to provide bottle water for kids and replace the sinks and water fountains that tested high for lead.

After what happened in flint and just last week Detroit Public Schools announced 19 of its schools had elevated levels of copper and lead.

More and more schools across the state, especially those that have older buildings, plan test to test the water to make sure their levels are safe.

FOX 2: "At the levels showed at this point, could that have impacted the kids' health?"

"I don't know if we can make that determination," Niehause said. "That's why we are advocating for parents if they need to take kids to pediatrician get them tested."

"I am surprised they haven't had an ongoing testing policy," Degan said. "I'm surprised they didn't test sooner. I feel they should do it on a yearly basis."

 

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