Saturday, March 28, 2020
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Elevated Lead Levels Found At Six Putnam Schools

Six Putnam County Schools have elevated levels of lead inside certain drinking water sources.

A Knoxville-based company recorded the levels after conducting testing at Avery Trace Middle School, Baxter Primary School, Cane Creek Elementary, Cookeville High School, Cornerstone Elementary, and White Plains Academy.

Maintenance Facilities Supervisor John Magura said parents and students do not have reason to worry.

“We’re trying to be proactive to find any problems that we may have in the system,” Magura said. “We’ve taken all the fixtures that had elevated levels offline, so they’re no longer in service. We will have secondary testing January 20 when we are off for Martin Luther King holiday.”

The schools system also sent testing results to the State Board of Education, TDEC, and State Health Department. A letter sent Tuesday notified parents, legal guardians, teachers, employees and building occupants of the findings.

Magura said the school system will begin repairing or replacing the fixtures after the secondary testing takes place.

State law requires all Tennessee School Districts to test water sources at school facilities constructed prior to January 1, 1998.

“I think all this stems from some of the issues we’ve had nationwide in regards to lead in drinking water,” Magura said. “Our legislatures were being proactive, and back in 2019 Governor Haslam signed a bill that requires all schools system to test water for lead.”

The testing found no elevated lead levels at Northeast Elementary School, Park View Elementary School, and Sycamore Elementary School.

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