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The Roanoke Rapids Graded School District is in the process of replacing faucets and piping at Clara Hearne Pre-K following a report in the spring which showed concentrations of lead in sinks and a water fountain at the facility.

“The materials are on backorder due to COVID-related supply issues,” RRGSD Director of Facilities and Operations Robert Clements said. “Once the supplies arrive, we will install and do another round of testing prior to school opening in the fall.”  

The state report indicated higher than normal levels of lead in several sinks and one water fountain.

The levels of lead are measured in parts per billion, according to the report, which can be viewed at this link

The largest concentration of lead was in a hand-washing sink — 929.40 parts per billion — in classroom 102 while an art sink in classroom 102 tested at 209.13 parts billion. An art sink in classroom 110 tested at 51.88 parts per billion.

According to the report, the lead concentration in water shows the result from the tap that was measured in the sample the center collected. 

If the measured result is at or above 15 parts per billion the local or state health official will collect a confirmation first draw and confirmation 30-second flush sample. 

If the state confirmation samples measured at the State Laboratory of Public Health are also at or above 15 parts per billion, remediation is required by the center. 

One art sink at the school measured at 18.55 parts per billion while a handwashing sink measured at 15.82.

There was an art sink which measured at 18.02 and a hallway water fountain which measured at 16.17.

Water fountains at the school have not been used since March of last year when the COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed, the school system said.

The water tests were conducted in March as part of a new requirement from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.  

“We take the health and safety of our students and staff very seriously and are committed to ensuring the water is completely safe,” Superintendent Dain Butler said.