AUSTIN — Austin's school district is responding to a new report that found elevated levels of lead in the drinking water at five schools.
Data obtained by Environment Texas -- a non-profit advocacy organization that protects the air, water and open spaces in Texas -- showed that lead was found in the drinking water at Boone and Patton elementary schools, Bailey and Covington middle schools and Lanier High School. This comes after Environment Texas reported in September 2017 that a harmful amount of lead was found in water at five AISD facilities, including Ridgetop Elementary School, Sanchez Elementary School, Widen Elementary School, the Burger Activity Center and Noack Sports Complex.
Some readings found the lead levels slightly higher than the allowable limit in May of this year. When lead levels are present above that level, the district will replace or install filters on the water fountains.
This was the letter AISD sent to families at Lanier, Boone, Patton, Covington and Bailey:
Dear _______ Elementary School Families,
The safety and security of our students are our highest priority at Austin ISD.
We are writing to inform you that during our testing of schools for lead in the water, _______ School was found to have a level of lead slightly higher than the lowest level of 0.001.
For any readings that have been found to be above the lowest level of 0.001—a higher standard than municipal drinking water—we are in the process of replacing or installing a filter on that water fountain and will retest the water following the filter installation or replacement. At this time, all the follow-up testing has shown the levels of lead at the lowest level of 0.001.
In 2017, AISD went above and beyond what is required of the law by testing lead in water at all schools and its facilities. Based on the EPA standards for municipalities that distribute drinking water, AISD tested all of its facilities and found them acceptable. As a precaution, this year, AISD determined to continue testing for lead in the water. This testing is not required, yet AISD continues to go above and beyond what is required for the safety of its students.
As always, we appreciate your support of Boone Elementary School.
Austin Independent School District