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Tests Show Elevated Levels Of Lead At Howell Elementary School

HOWELL (WWJ/AP) - Officials with the Howell school district in eastern Michigan say tests show elevated levels of lead at one of the district's elementary schools.

Two tests showed elevated lead levels at Northwest Elementary School. A second round of water tests will be done Friday to verify the original results.

Superintendent Erin MacGregor said portable water coolers will be used at the school as officials try to find the problem.

"Staff and students will have plenty of access to safe drinking water," MacGregor told WWJ's Laura Bonnell. "The second round of testing, we'll have those results expedited and we'll have those early next week. So, that will allow us really to better pinpoint the source of this issue, and to either prove or disprove -- again, the levels are elevated but we want to make sure these results are accurate."

MacGregor said the school district began a water-testing program in its schools in light of the lead-contamination crisis in Flint.

"We took it upon ourselves to be proactive and test the water in our buildings," he said. "This is not something that's required by any kinds of regulations or by law, but we wanted to be proactive so we began that testing about a week ago."

Three other buildings have been tested so far -- Southeast, Southwest and Challenger elementary schools -- and all results have come back as "lead safe" and within the Environmental Protection Agency's acceptable levels. The district will continue will the testing until every building has been cleared.

"We're taking steps to make sure the kids and staff have access to safe water and in the short-term, they're going to be just fine," said MacGregor. "In the long-term, we're going to make sure that the issues are corrected."

TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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