Reports of lead in Bellevue schools’ water based on ‘inaccurate data’, water is safe, city says

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BELLEVUE, Wash. — Reports of high levels of lead in water at Bellevue public schools was based on old school district information and the water is safe, the Bellevue School District said Friday.

On Friday morning, school officials told The Associated Press the testing that found unsafe levels of lead in water was from early May.

Q13 News, like many AP subscribers, published the AP story saying there were high lead levels found in Bellevue schools’ water.  Later Friday, the district said that upon further review, they learned the elementary school results were from 2005.

A district spokeswoman says she does not know when tests that found lead in the water at middle and high schools were done.

School officials have been replacing fixtures as soon as lead is found. The district has rebuilt nearly all its schools since 2003.

The Bellevue city government released the following statement late Friday afternoon:

“The Bellevue School District has informed the city that old test data was erroneously released. The school district is currently calling media outlets to correct the inaccurate report. Bellevue Utilities would like to assure its customers that Bellevue water has been and continues to be safe.

“To assure the community about the safety of our water, especially for one of our greatest assets, our youth, Bellevue Utilities is extending the assistance of our water quality specialist to help with any future testing in the school district.

“Bellevue Utilities would like its residents to know the following about their water:

“1.      Bellevue’s water comes from protected mountain watersheds that are free from human activity.

“2.      Bellevue meets all government requirements for testing of lead in water. During our last testing, Utilities had only one result that exceeded allowed limits. The cause of this was corrosion of the internal household plumbing system, not the source water or public system operated by Bellevue Utilities. In this case, the utility worked with the homeowner on solutions.

“3.      Bellevue Utilities conducts routine water sampling and results tracking to ensure safety and quality.”

The school district sends this letter to parents:

 

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