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High Lead Levels Found In Water Fountains At Berkeley Schools

BERKELEY (KPIX 5) -- A number of schools in Berkeley have shut off water fountains after test results found excessive lead contamination, according to school officials.

The fountains now off limits are at Berkeley High, Willard Middle School, Jefferson Elementary, John Muir Elementary, LaConte Science Magnet School, and Hopkins Preschool.

They were all found in violation of the district guidelines for drinking water. One fountain had lead levels 17 times higher than what's acceptable.

All 20 schools in the Berkeley Unified School District were tested.

A new California law that went into effect this month requires testing drinking water at all public K-12 schools that were built before 2010 by July of this year.

The school district has come up with a 10-month plan to fix the contaminated water sources as well as re-test them.

Back in October, the Oakland Unified School District also found dangerous levels of lead at seven elementary schools.

District officials say they're working with the East Bay Municipal Utility District to replace water fixtures at those schools.

Editor's note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the water had been shut off at the schools. Only the water fountains found not in compliance have been shut off. 

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