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Elevated lead levels found in SM school drinking fountain

SAN MARCOS — A “higher than acceptable” amount of lead was found at a water fountain at San Marcos Middle School, the school district said this week.

San Marcos has been proactively testing its drinking fountains districtwide in advance of a new testing mandate from the State Water Resources Control Board, district spokeswoman Anna Lucia Roybal said.

Since schools built before 1986 — when lead solder was banned from use in joining copper pipes — are more likely to have traces of lead in the fountains, the district tested the fountains at its three oldest schools — Alvin Dunn and Richland elementary schools and San Marcos Middle School.

Of the 15 samples taken, the lone one with elevated lead levels was a fountain outside of the gym at the middle school campus. The district immediately removed the water fountain, Roybal said.

“The district is currently having the water tested at all locations in order to ensure that the water used by our students, staff, and community is safe,” Roybal said in a statement.

There have been no reports of lead-related illnesses at the school site, Roybal said.

School districts are requesting water testing after dangerous levels of lead were discovered at a San Ysidro elementary school.

Test results in October and in January prompted school officials in San Ysidro to provide bottled water for students and employees.