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17 Catholic Schools In Chicago Test Positive For Lead, Archdiocese Says

By Joe Ward | October 13, 2016 3:30pm
 A child drinks from a water fountain in this photo illustration.
A child drinks from a water fountain in this photo illustration.
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CHICAGO — Tests uncovered high lead levels in drinking water in 17 Catholic schools, the Archdiocese of Chicago says.

The archdiocese said problematic drinking fountains have been taken out of use. The school system is also working to implement a "flushing program" that it said would remove the dangerous levels of lead from the water before it is consumed.

The Catholic school system concluded testing of its 180 schools in September, saying that nearly 70 percent of schools did not have problematic amounts of lead in drinking water sources, church officials said. But 17 schools exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency's "action level," the archdiocese said.

The students, faculty and families at the effected schools have been notified of the tests, the archdiocese said.

The archdiocese began testing for lead in drinking water after CPS found that at least 113 of its schools had dangerously high levels of lead.

Two Catholic schools in Chicago have three drinking sources found to have dangerous levels of lead, the archdiocese said. Those schools are:

• St. Benedict, 3900 N. Leavitt St. in North Center

• Holy Angels, 750 E. 40th St. in Grand Boulevard

Immaculate Conception, 7263 W. Tolcott Ave. in Norwood Park, had two drinking water sources test positive for high levels of lead, the archdiocese said.

The schools that reported one contaminated drinking water source are:

• Alphonsus Academy and Center for the Arts, 1439 W. Wellington Ave. in Lakeview

• St. Ann, 2211 W. 18th St. in Heart of Chicago

• Bridgeport Catholic Academy, 3700 S. Lowe Ave. in Bridgeport

• St. Constance, 5841 W. Strong St. in Jefferson Park

• St. Edward, 4343 W. Sunnyside Ave. in Irving Park

• St. Ferdinand, 3131 N. Mason Ave. in Belmont Cragin

• St. Helen, 2347 W. Augusta Blvd. in Ukrainian Village

• St. John Fisher, 10200 S. Washtenaw Ave. in Beverly

• Leo High School, 7901 S. Sangamon St. in Auburn Gresham

• Pope Francis Global Academy, 6040 W Ardmore Ave. in Jefferson Park

• Pope John Paul II Catholic School, 4325 S. Richmond St. in Brighton Park

• Queen of All Saints, 6280 N. Sauganash Ave. in Sauganash

• Queen of the Universe, 7103 S. Hamlin Ave. in Chicago Lawn

• St. Walter, 1147 S. Western Ave. in Morgan Park

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