Tacoma Public Schools lift water restrictions on 3 schools; 10 still remain

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TACOMA, Wash. -- While Tacoma Public Schools could soon lift water restrictions on three schools, there are still 10 others with higher-than-acceptable lead levels in the water.

According to the newly released test results, Mann Elementary has nine fixtures with drinking water that tested above acceptable levels.

Living across the street from Mann Elementary in Tacoma, Josh Tiggs plans to send all three of his kids there. His eldest Amalia already started pre-school at Mann Elementary this year.

Mann is one of the schools still receiving bottled water after its drinking water tested higher-than-acceptable limits for lead, which are results from a 2015 test.

“The first thing that struck me was that it could have been something that could have been dealt with a year ago,” said Tiggs.

Tacoma Public Schools revealed Monday that new water quality tests show big improvements. Three schools could begin drinking out of fountains and sinks as early as Tuesday, which are Manitou Park, Larchmount and Reed Elementaries.

“Test results should give people a confident understanding in the water that they’re drinking,” said Dan Voelpel, the spokesperson for Tacoma Public Schools

At Mann, at least nine fixtures tested between 29-138 parts per billion, up to about nine times the recommended limit.

“What we’re now looking for are fixture by fixture, looking at the specific locations inside, every place somebody could get water and consume it in our facility,” said Steve Murakami, the COO of Tacoma Public Schools.

While Tacoma Public Schools’ Superintendent Carla Santorno says new protocol will include testing the schools every three years, Tiggs says he hopes to see more than just testing but for the district to follow through once results are released.

Josh Tiggs said he got his daughter tested for lead Saturday, and they are now awaiting results.