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High lead, copper levels found in water at Natick schools

School district officials say they have addressed the problem and the water is safe to drink.

Natick High School.The Boston Globe/File 2012/Prime for The Bo

More than 80 faucets at Natick schools were recently found to have elevated levels of lead or copper, but school district officials say they have addressed the problem and the water is safe to drink.

In a letter to the Natick community on Tuesday, Superintendent Peter Sanchioni announced that the tests indicated the elevated chemical levels. He did not say when the examination took place.

“Overall the findings show there were readings above allowable levels of lead and/or copper detected at certain schools,” Sanchioni wrote. “Consultants provided us with safety protocols that were put in place immediately. At this time our water has been deemed safe to drink.”

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Eighteen of the affected faucets were drinking fountains, according to the letter. New water bubblers with filtration systems replaced the fountains, the school district said.

Natick High School had 15 fountains with high copper levels and 18 sinks with elevated copper levels, the highest of any school.

“Due to recent events around the country, we understand this matter can be concerning to families,” Sanchioni wrote.

The district will conduct water testing on a regular basis, Sanchioni wrote in a Wednesday follow-up letter, which he sent in response to questions about the district’s handling of the issue.

He said administrators “value the safety of our students and will continue to work in their best interest.”

The school will hold meetings with the community answer questions, discuss the tests, and explain the steps it is taking to combat the problem.


J.D. Capelouto can be reached at jd.capelouto@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jdcapelouto.