Published in the February 28, 2017 edition.

WAKEFIELD — When the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection offered free water testing statewide, the Wakefield School Department took advantage of the opportunity to have all local schools tested.

In a message sent out to all parents yesterday, School Superintendent Dr. Kim Smith announced the results of water tests conducted at all schools in town, including 700 fixtures.

“We proactively tested water in all of our district schools, performed by the MassDEP,” Smith said. “The results of these 700 tests came in this week. Overall very positive news: we had only 13 exceedances for lead (1.86 percent of the 700 tested fixtures) and none of these were drinking fountains. The average exceedances in Massachusetts school districts has been 5 percent.

“Of the 13 exceedances, 3 are kitchen fixtures and 10 are sink faucets in classrooms or staff rooms, Smith noted. “In almost all cases, the exceedances were slight and in all cases, the number dropped well below the exceedance level when flushed for 30 seconds. Many of us flush faucets in our homes upon first use each day for this reason.

“Based on guidance from MassDEP, we have temporarily taken out of service three kitchen fixtures and three of the sinks,” Smith said. “The remaining seven sinks now have a posted sign that reads ‘Flush for 30 seconds before use.’ We will retest each of the 13 fixtures before planning next steps.”

Exceedances by School:

• Doyle – 0

• Dolbeare – 1 (kitchen fixture)

• Galvin – 1 (kitchen fixture)

• Greenwood – 1 (office area)

• Walton – 2 (sinks)

• Woodville – 1 (kitchen fixture)

• WMHS – 7 (sinks)

Smith added, “I remind the community of MassDEP’s statement that ‘The public water supply in Massachusetts is among the best in the country, subject to the most stringent government standards in the world,’ especially for schools.”