CHICAGO — Four new schools have been found to have dangerous levels of lead in their water, bringing the total number of CPS schools with lead problems to 23, the school district said Tuesday.
A day after announcing that as many as 19 schools were found to have dangerous levels of lead, the district on Tuesday added four more schools to the list. CPS also announced Tuesday it will hold a series of community meetings on the topic later this month.
The numbers show that nearly one-third of the CPS schools tested so far have shown dangerously high levels of lead, according to CPS.
The new schools with lead issues, including where the lead was found to be at dangerous levels, are:
• Carver Primary School, 901 E. 133rd St. (three drinking fountains)
• Chase, 2021 N. Point St. (two sinks)
• Walt Disney Magnet School, 4140 N. Marine Dr. (one sink)
• Nightingale Elementary, 5250 S. Rockwell St. (one drinking fountain)
CPS has so far tested 78 schools for lead in water lines, the district said Tuesday. The tests have shown that 26 drinking fountains and 22 sinks have high levels of lead. Four of the sinks were in kitchens, CPS said.
Though nearly one-third of tested schools have shown high levels of lead, the overwhelming majority of the water lines in the schools are safe, CPS said.
The district has tested 1,112 water fixtures in the 78 schools, and 48 of the fixtures had at least one same with a lead level above the Environmental Protection Agency's action level. That equates to 4.3 percent of fixtures having a lead issue.
The fixtures testing positive for high levels of lead appear to not be in frequent use by kids of school staff, CPS said in a report.
All of the fixtures with dangerous levels of lead have been turned off until the district develops a plan to address the individual fixture issues. Families at the schools with high lead levels have been notified of the issue, CPS said.
"... We are working to determine the causes in all our schools and develop remediation plans for the 4 percent of drinking fountains and sinks that have lead above the federal action level," Emily Bittner, a CPS spokeswoman, said in a statement.
The latest results come as Chicago aldermen called for public hearings on the matter Monday. Ald. Christopher Taliaferro (29th) said he demanded answers on what CPS is doing to clear its water of lead.
"In 2016, it is outrageous that we must face the risk of putting our children in harm's way by sending them to school," Taliaferro said. "We know how to get rid of lead ... so that it is present in our schools must be unacceptable to us."
CPS has announced it will hold a series of community meetings on the topic. The meeting dates include:
• June 20 at Mather High School, 5835 N. Lincoln Ave. at 6 p.m.
• June 21 at Michelle Clark High School, 5101 W. Harrison St. at 4 p.m.
• June 21 at Whitney Young High School, 211 S. Laflin St. at 6 p.m.
• June 22 at Back of the Yards College Prep, 2111 W. 47th St., at 6 p.m.
• June 23 at Hyde Park Academy High School, 6220 Stony Island Ave. at 4 p.m.
• June 23 at Corliss High School, 821 E. 103rd St at 6 p.m.
• June 24 at Simeon High School, 8147 S. Vincennes Ave. at 4 p.m.
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