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Guilford County Schools replacing lead-lined fountains recalled in 1990

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. – On Friday, FOX8 learned crews with Guilford County Schools were working to replace nine lead-lined water fountains at Southeast Middle School, Frazier Elementary School and Western Guilford High School.

The work is happening after a FOX8 On Your Side investigation this summer revealed extremely high levels of lead in water at the Allen Jay Elementary, Frazier Elementary and Southeast Middle.

Since then, a school system spokesperson tells us they’ve been taking inventory on fountains and faucets.

While checking the model and serial number on Halsey Taylor water coolers, the district learned there was a recall back in 1990. The fountains have been in Guilford County Schools since before 1986.

The school system declined to do an interview with FOX8 on Friday, but a spokesperson said that at the time GCS was operating as three separate systems. It is unclear if anyone knew of the potential danger.

Linda Carlisle, a spokesperson for the company that now owns Halsey Taylor, said that at that time another corporation owned the business. She’s not sure what the protocol on recalls was then but is confident it was well known.

Carlisle recommends places like schools do testing for lead. No law, however, requires Guilford County Schools’ to do so.

Alana Bowser thinks the school system should do testing. Her daughter attends Southeast Middle School.

“It's stupid actually for it not to be mandatory,” Bowser said. “We're dealing with the health of every single student. Is it not that important for it to be mandatory? “

A spokesperson for the school system said that taking inventory is a process. GCS could find more lead-lined fountains or faucets.