And it was only discovered because some students were working on a research project.
Lead found in drinking fountains and bottle filling stations was discovered in the water at Sac State. It’s not actually coming from the city water supply, but it’s “leaching” into the water from the pipes. Usually after a long break or infrequently used fountains, of the water sits in the pipes too long, it can contain lead from the actual pipes.
Initially, 85 sinks and fountains were shut down because of lead content higher than 5 parts-per-billion, but after working with state officials, anything less than 15 parts-per-billion was deemed safe, and 42 of those sinks and fountains were reopened, leaving 43 that need to be either repaired or replaced since they’re above the safe level.
During the research project, students and their professors looked at 449 sinks and fountains in all. It was apparently only those 85 that showed anything questionable, and those 43 that were abnormally high, or would cause some kind of alarm, are still closed. The school had those 43 tested by an outside source, and it was confirmed that they’re at or above the 15 ppb threshold, and are marked for replacement.
Water sources that are used for or around food preparation areas are safe and were tested.
Officials at the college are actually discussing regular testing of the water now, just to keep an eye on levels and handle things before bigger problems happen.