Tacoma schools lead testing near completion

One day before school starts and Tacoma Public Schools is almost finished testing fountains and faucets for high lead levels.

TACOMA -- After high lead levels were found in the drinking water at four Tacoma schools in April, the school district spent the summer testing 6,400 fixtures, and replacing 499.

Two fixtures at Point Defiance Elementary are offline. They are still in the reconditioning process and need to be retested before students can use them.

"I'm sad that it took this long. But I feel like they're reconciling it," said Nellie Ward, who has two kids at Point Defiance this year.

According to a district spokesperson, testing was expected to be 100 percent complete before school started.

"Once we discovered we had a problem people in other school districts started to wonder if they did, too. And as soon as school let out in June there was a flood of school districts working with the water sampling and testing labs and it really overloaded them. And it put us a little behind schedule," said Dan Voepel.

The district spent more than $300,000 on testing and now needs a plan for the future.

"We're going through the process now and establishing a testing and replacement protocol that we can continue to do and monitor going forward, year by year," said Voepel.

Parents are looking forward to seeing what that plan looks like soon.

"It's a big concern for our family and I would say most of the families in the area. Lead is a big deal and we need clean water," said Amanda Morrill.

Copyright 2016 KING


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