The first results from lead testing in Denver Public Schools are in

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A dripping Denver faucet. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)  water; sink; denver; kevinjbeaty; denverite; colorado;

A dripping Denver faucet. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

By Melanie AsmarChalkbeat

Results from the lead testing underway in Denver Public Schools are beginning to trickle in.

The results posted on the district’s website thus far do not show dangerously elevated lead levels in the drinking water at Colfax Elementary in northwest Denver, University Prep’s Arapahoe Street campus in northeast Denver or Florence Crittenton High School, a public school for pregnant and parenting girls in southwest Denver.

More results are expected to be posted soon, district spokesman Will Jones said.

The testing began in August in response to the discovery of high lead levels in school drinking water elsewhere, including in neighboring Jefferson County. Denver is one of several large school districts in Colorado testing its water for lead.

Thus far, DPS has gathered samples from drinking fountains, kitchen food prep sinks, lounge sinks and other fixtures at 97 buildings, Jones said. It’s on track to finish testing all elementary schools by the end of the month as planned, he added.

The district is aiming to test all schools by the end of December. Denver Water, which provides the district’s water, is analyzing the lead levels of the collected samples.

DPS will act if lead levels hit 15 parts per billion, a district official wrote in an August letter to families. That’s the level at which health officials recommend taking action. Solutions could include shutting off that source and either installing water filters or replacing the fixture causing the problem. Alternate water sources may also be provided.

While lead isn’t present in the water that DPS receives, the letter said, the water can become contaminated as it moves through older plumbing and fixtures that contain lead.

Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news site covering educational change in public schools.

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