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Testing for lead in water at schools

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Local public utilities test sources that provide water to schools but they are not required to test inside every school or daycare in North Carolina.

Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools tested at the tap of every school anyway.

“The goal behind this was to make sure that once city water entered through our facilities, we didn’t have any piping or solder joints that may leach any potential toxins that lead to water that is unsafe for our students,” said WSFC Schools COO Wayne Loflin.

The testing in Winston-Salem Forsyth County happened because of a research professor at Wake Forest University. Doctor George Donati won a national grant to buy a machine that tests samples to measure low concentrations of elements like lead.

His graduate assistant gathered water samples from each WSFC school and measured them for the lead.

The results? Jake Carter said, “there weren’t any levels of concern and that’s a testament to the public water system.”

Every school checked out. The samples from the cafeteria and water fountains measured well below the strict standards set by the federal government.

We do not know if that would be true for Guilford County schools, Alamance Burlington Schools or Davidson County Schools.

Guilford County Schools recently announced they are partnering with the cities of Greensboro and High Point to test for lead and copper in all GCS facilities. The plan is still being worked out, but officials told FOX8 On Your Side water samples should be collected by mid-January. Greensboro Water Resources is paying for the lab testing which costs 30 dollars per sample.

We have not heard from any other school system of plans to test water at the tap. Again, it’s not required. There was a bill in the North Carolina General Assembly to require this kind of testing at schools built before 1987. It did not make it out of committee.