Because of a state law passed last year schools in Tennessee have to test for lead in the water supply. The schools must notify parents if they find lead levels of 20 ppb or greater, which is over the state allowed threshold.

Of the 36 schools tested so far for lead in the drinking water, 14 schools (39%) had water outlets that tested for lead levels of 20 ppb or greater, which is over the state allowed threshold. Of those 14 schools, six are in South Knoxville (9 outlets tested 20 ppb or over). two are in West Knoxville (2 outlets tested 20 ppb or over), three are in North/Northwest Knoxville (6 outlets tested 20 ppb or over), one is in North/Northeast Knoxville (1 outlets tested 20 ppb or over), and two are in East Knoxville (3 outlets tested 20 ppb or over).

There are 72 schools/centers in the Knox County school system. So far half of the schools have been tested and unacceptable lead levels were found in 21 water outlets in nearly 20% of the schools.

For additional information, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a web site with extensive information on lead in drinking water.

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