SAME PROBLEM AS ROMAN EMPIRE
"We just assume we'll have clean drinking water"
Water with unsafe lead amounts found in hundreds of schools
TOLEDO, Ohio — Responding to the crisis in Flint, Michigan, school officials across the country are testing classroom sinks and cafeteria faucets for lead, trying to uncover any concealed problems and to reassure anxious parents.
Just a fraction of schools and day care centers nationwide are required to check for lead because most receive their water from municipal systems that test at other locations. State and federal lawmakers have called for wider testing.
Among schools and day care centers operating their own water systems, Environmental Protection Agency data analyzed by The Associated Press showed 278 violated federal lead levels at some point during the past three years. Roughly a third of those had lead levels that were at least double the federal limit. In almost all cases, the problems can be traced to aging buildings with lead pipes, older drinking fountains and water fixtures that have parts made with lead.
Riverside Elementary in the northern Wisconsin town of Ringle has lead pipes buried in its concrete foundation that used to leach into the tap water before a filtration system was installed. Replacing the pipes, which were installed when the school was built in the 1970s, is not an option.
"For the cost of that, you might as well build a new school," said Jack Stoskopf, an assistant superintendent.