Hundreds Of LAUSD Schools Still Have Lead In Their Water Fountains
In 2016, the city officially started removing all lead contamination in LAUSD schools, with plans to finish the process by fall of 2017. According to KPCC, however, 300 schools still need to replace fountains that have traces of lead, and the changes likely won't be finished until December 2018.
For decades, LAUSD staff members had to run the school's water fountains for 30 seconds every morning to flush out any lead. The district implemented the policy in 1988, and testing was done in 2008 to determine how much lead actually existed in the fountains. Ones with more than its action level of 15 parts per billion were removed; others, with levels lower than lead's action levels, continued getting flushed every morning and were on track to get replaced or repaired. The daily flushing requirement also fell to the wayside at most schools; by 2015, most schools had stopped flushing the fountains every morning, as revealed by NBC. LAUSD has exemptions for certain schools as well, indicating that they do not need daily flushing.
According to KPCC, the lag is partly due to the schools waiting for funding to deal with the contamination. That funding came through in 2015 via a $19.8 million bond approved by the LAUSD board.