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Water in Montana public schools tested for lead

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Water restrictions lifted in Billings after cooler temperatures and recent rain

Montana – As the state Department of Public Health and Human Services’ (DPHHS) deadline of Dec. 31, 2021 approaches, public schools across Montana are testing for lead levels in their drinking water.

Many school districts across the state are upgrading their plumbing after obtained test results revealed elevated levels of lead in some locations, according to a press statement from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality and the DPHHS.

All accredited K-12 schools are required by DPHHS to test their water taps and drinking fountains on a regular basis to ensure that the water in Montana public schools is safe to drink.

So far, 41 schools have tested positive for lead, and all of them must either remediate or suspend using the water system, according to the DPHHS and DEQ.

“Testing is important for children’s health. We hope to see schools testing as soon as possible to not only protect kids’ health, but also take the opportunity to apply for remediation and testing funding,” Amy Steinmetz, DEQ’ water quality division administrator, said in the release. “We applaud the schools that have already tested and look forward to working with more school districts across the state.”

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