Weather closings and delays

Guilford County Schools replacing all lead-lined water fountains

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- The Guilford County school district says they're bringing in outside help to help with an inventory list after finding high lead levels in water at some county schools.

Chief Operating Officer Scott McCully said Monday that the inventory is being worked on as a response to testing completed earlier this year, but there's no word on when it will be finished.

"At this point we are looking to having an outside person that can do that for us and we're examining, looking at costs right now and looking at priority in terms of which schools we'd look at first," he said.

The district has already replaced nine fountains at Southeast Middle School, Frazier Elementary School and Western Guilford High School.

According to EPA guidelines, lead-lined fountains should have been recalled in 1988.

"That age cut off is a certain time that the EPA said that there was more of a danger of lead contaminant in drinking fountains at that point," McCully said.

He added that the school does daily flushing of their fountains and food prep sinks as a precaution, but said that the school has not completely shut down all fountains while they complete the inventory.

"We've asked that question internally and certainly working with some outside experts in this area. They've felt very comfortable that the flushing routine or protocol we have in place should eliminate any contaminant that's in the faucet itself," he said.

FOX8 asked why the short term solution was being used when the fountains were still in the schools after so many years.

"(I) can't answer that question. I've been in Guilford County Schools just over a year, and this opportunity came to us late last fall early winter and we took advantage of it," McCully said. "Thought it was a great opportunity for us to learn more about our drinking water and our systems here in our school, so we're moving forward."