Euclid City Schools begin testing drinking water for lead levels

Posted at 5:23 PM, Dec 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-05 18:34:45-05

After Cleveland Metropolitan Schools had water sources test positive for high levels of lead, other Cuyahoga County school districts want to make sure their water is safe.

Testing for lead is now a priority at Euclid City Schools which has older buildings, like the high school, where potential lead in drinking water, is a real concern.

Euclid began the process Monday of testing every drinking water fountain and bathroom sink in three of the district’s schools for levels of lead.

“We have a lot of older school buildings. We also know that there might be lead in the fixtures that actually hold the water, let’s say overnight,” said Melissa Bowsher with the EA Group, an environmental consulting company doing Euclid’s testing.

Bowsher said EA Group has been inundated with school districts wanting to test for lead.

“EA Group has been asked to do many, many of the school districts and a lot of the school districts have a lot of schools,” she said.

“There were local concerns with what happened in Cleveland, and we want to make sure that we’re taking every step as a school district to make sure that we have safe environments for our students,” said Charles Smialek, Euclid Schools’ Superintendent.

Testing revealed hundreds of water sources in Cleveland City Schools had unsafe levels of lead. Those results have prompted voluntary testing in surrounding cities. Cleveland Heights and Fairview Park are joining Euclid in proactively testing hundreds of drinking water sources in multiple schools.

“The safety of our children is very important,” said Marcie Freeman.

Parents like Freeman who has a daughter at Euclid High School, are holding their breath and hoping her school is a safe one.

“Having heard about some of the issues that lead poisoning can cause, I think that’s something we should be concerned about,” said Freeman.

Testing at Euclid won’t cost the city much. Testing and repairs, if needed, will be paid for by a state grant. It will take ten days, likely from the end of the week, before the first results come in.