Published in the May 11, 2016 edition


WAKEFIELD — Concern over water quality in places like Flint, Mich. and the recent discovery of elevated lead levels in the drinking water at four Boston schools has caused concern among parents in other communities. The high lead readings in some Boston schools have been linked to building water sources such as drinking fountains and kitchen areas.
But parents of local students can rest assured that the water coming out of the drinking fountains in all Wakefield schools is safe, according to School Superintendent Dr. Kim Smith.
“The Wakefield DPW Water Department proactively tests on a regular basis for lead and copper in all of our schools,” Smith said this week. “These tests confirm that the water at all Wakefield Public Schools conform to all of the current stringent standards. Currently the EPA Guidelines require communities to collect lead and copper samples from at least two schools, but we reassure our community that the Wakefield DPW’s Water Department tests for these levels at all of our schools.”
DPW Director Richard Stinson told the Item last March that both Wakefield and the Massachusetts Water resources Authority regularly test the town’s water for lead and other substances. In the last round of testing, Wakefield’s results were well below the allowable lead level set by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The goal, however, is lead readings of zero, Stinson said. He added that the town continues its efforts on a number of fronts to eliminate any traces of lead from the drinking water, including treatment to make the water less corrosive. The DPW is also reviewing all service cards to identify any remaining lead services going into local homes and to work with homeowners to replace those service lines.
At 6:30 tonight, the DPW will hold an information meeting in the Public Safety Building about lead water service lines in town.