THE LOOP — Chicago Public Schools finally got some good news on lead in the water Friday, when after weeks of rising numbers of failures no new school tested positive for dangerous levels of lead in the water.
According to CPS results released late Friday, all but one of 324 schools set for lead testing citywide had received results, but the number of schools failing lead tests remained at 112.
As of Thursday, CPS had received test results for 6,054 fixtures at 323 schools, with 183, or about 3 percent, testing positive for dangerous levels of lead in the water. That included 95 fountains and 88 sinks.
CPS Chief Administrative Officer Alfonso de Hoyos y Acosta reported at last month's Board of Education meeting that the fixtures had been "immediately decommissioned," with bags placed over them, and that "various remediation plans" were in place to ready the schools for the new year beginning next month, including replacements and repairs.
CPS Chief Executive Officer Forrest Claypool announced citywide testing in May, out of what he called "an abundance of caution," after Tanner Elementary failed tests for lead in the water in testing prompted by the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Mich.
The district announced it would start by testing the 324 schools built before new, more stringent lead-pipe regulations took effect in 1986. The remaining district schools will be tested in the fall.
CPS has maintained that the schools that failed water tests had lead levels only slightly above legal limits, and not the extremely high levels found in the Flint water supply.
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