School Fountain Water Shut Down for 2 Years
The Cabinet Report Has Corrected Their Story…
Correction: This story has been updated to correct a reporting error in the original lede stating that contamined water forced some schools in the Fresno Unified School District to disable drinking fountains. The Orange Center Elementary School, according to previous news reports, stopped using its drinking fountains two years ago due to lead in its water. The school, although located in Fresno, is not in the Fresno Unified School District and uses a private well for its water supply, said a Fresno USD spokesman. Another school mistakenly identified as being in Fresno USD was actually in the Ceres Unified School District near Modesto. Westport Elementary School, according to Associated Press and CBS News reports, had to install equipment to remove uranium from its private water supply in the past few years. The Cabinet Report regrets the error.
Kimberly Beltran with the Cabinet Report writes that drinking fountains at some
Fresno Unified schools have been shut down for 2 years because of lead and uranium contamination.
Some schools are providing students with bottled water and begun installing filter systems to take out the harmful contaminates from the water.
Last week, the Assembly Budget Committee included in its 2016-17 funding plan $10 million for a grant program to provide filtered water filling stations at more than 100 of the most severely impacted schools – most of which, according to the analysis, are in the state’s Central Valley.
“We see this as something that is a vital need for the state to be addressing,” said Jenny Rempel, spokeswoman for the Community Water Center and lead coordinator of the report that was the subject of a legislative briefing in Sacramento last week. “While the additional funding we are seeking from the general fund is not enough to solve the problem, it would really help to make a dent.”
Multiple legislative attempts over the years to mandate a statewide school water testing system have failed to overcome the barrier of costs, ostensibly hundreds of millions of dollars that would be needed not only implement a new program but to upgrade or replace decades-old infrastructure likely contributing to the contamination.