Elevated lead levels discovered in 9 additional sites at Virginia Beach schools

Posted at 3:22 PM, Nov 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-06 15:24:11-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A notice sent to families from Virginia Beach City Public Schools on November 6 alerted them that testing of water sources in several schools built during or before 1986 had lead levels greater than the industry refers to as “actionable levels.”

This fall, results from the tests stated that 96% of drinking and food prep sites were "below threshold." Sixty-one drinking and food-prep sources in 27 of those schools returned results with lead levels greater than 15ppb.

Virginia Beach City Public Schools officials say the risk of elevated lead concentrations in children from school water consumption is very low.

On November 12, News 3 learned school officials sent a new alert to parents at seven schools. Officials say while reviewing the results from the initial water testing, they found two additional water sources with actionable lead levels. This was water that was previously misidentified as a non-drinking source. School officials say those sources have now been secured.

Today's letters went to parents at Bayside High, Bayside Middle, Lynnhaven Middle, Lynnhaven Elementary, Green Run Elementary, Pembroke Elementary and North Landing Elementary.

"We understand that this may be concerning news, especially if your child is in one of the schools that was affected," said VBCPS Superintendent Aaron Spence. "But we are working closely with the VBDPH and Virginia Beach City Public Utilities, both of which are providing guidance and support. Our testing protocol is in place for this very reason: To identify and correct issues expediently. We are and will remain committed to protecting the health and well-being of our students and staff in VBCPS."

The schools that were reported as affected during the initial testing cycle were: Bayside High School, Bayside Middle School, Brandon Middle School, Creeds Elementary School, Fairfield Elementary School, First Colonial High School, Green Run Elementary School, Holland Elementary School, Independence Middle School, Kempsville Middle School, King’s Grant Elementary School, Kingston Elementary School, Laskin Road Annex, Lynnhaven Elementary School, Lynnhaven Middle School, Malibu Elementary School, North Landing Elementary School, Pembroke Elementary School, Plaza Middle School, Princess Anne Elementary School, Princess Anne High School, Princess Anne Middle School, Shelton Park Elementary School, Technical and Career Education Center, Thalia Elementary School, Trantwood Elementary School and Bettie F. Williams Elementary School.

Also, water sources in all drinking and food prep sites will be tested in all remaining buildings by the end of the school year. In any school where testing has not yet been completed, bottled water will be available on an add needed basis for students and staff.

A wesbite has been created by Virginia Beach City Public Schools, so that families can learn more about lead water levels, see the division’s recent test results and follow the progress of further testing.

Click here to be taken to the Virginia Beach City Schools website.