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These 88 NJ schools had lead in water — ‘Poland Springs’ not real fix, activists say

water from the tap

By Townsquare Staff March 16, 2017 7:39 PM

Reported and written by David Matthau and Adam Hochron

A new report by Environment New Jersey Research & Policy Center calls for comprehensive action on testing and remediating lead-contaminated drinking water in schools and communities across the Garden State.

The report, which gives New Jersey a grade of C-, also documents the health effects of exposure to lead, especially in children.

“We can’t sit on our hands and we can’t point to a Poland Springs strategy of thou shalt only drink bottled water,” said Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey.

After a growing number of New Jersey districts last year began revealing that some of their drinking water was contaminated with lead, the state Department of Education began requiring regular testing and reporting of those results to the state.

Since then, at least 30 districts have reported high levels of lead in 88 school buildings, according to records obtained by New Jersey 101.5. This number includes both public and private schools.

The high levels were found in water fountains, kitchen sinks used for cooking as well as bathroom sinks and wash basins.

But the exact number of schools with lead contamination is even higher.

Read More: More than two dozen districts report high lead levels in schools |