Three drinking fountains at Bel Aire Elementary School are getting new pipes and fixtures after testing revealed the water contained traces of lead — but the county’s top public-health official said the levels hover right around the Environmental Protection Agency’s threshold for taking corrective action and are not a cause for alarm. In a Sept. 16 email to parents, Reed Union School District Superintendent Nancy Lynch said water tested in the drinking fountains located in the E-building hallway, classroom C3 and near the backstop of the school’s playfield showed lead levels of 17.4 parts per billion, 14.7 parts per billion and 12.3 parts per billion, respectively. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends homeowners and municipalities take steps to reduce lead when levels climb past 15 parts per billion. Water has been shut off in drinking fountains and classroom sinks at Bel Aire since Aug. 30.
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