Metro Schools to test all drinking fountains for lead levels

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Metro Nashville Public Schools is the first and only school district across Tennessee to test their drinking water for lead.

The district said they began last year with their two-phase testing program, working with Metro Public Health, Metro Public Works, and the state’s environment department.

Before the state of the upcoming school year, every single drinking fountain will be checked for elevated levels of lead.

The move comes after water quality concerns in other parts of the country.

“Checking the drinking water in our buildings is the right thing to do for children and for our employees,” said Executive Director of Facility and Grounds Maintenance Dennis Neal. “It is something we wanted to do and felt we needed to do.”

At the request of Director of Schools Dr. Shawn Joseph and with the support of the Mayor’s Office, the district has accelerated its testing timeline and will begin testing this week, beginning with elementary schools and early learning centers and continuing to middle and high schools.

The tests will be conducted following all required protocols for water quality sampling.

This new push to test all fountains before the start of school will replace the planned second phase of testing that was scheduled to begin in August.