Several drinking fountains and sinks in local schools have been removed after lead was detected during testing, director of schools Dr. John Combs confirmed Wednesday.

Letters went home with students at several local schools to notify parents lead had been found in drinking water.


“In compliance with state law and a recently-adopted Tipton County Board of Education policy, Tipton County Schools just completed testing of drinking water sources as well as sinks with which our students could come in contact,” Combs said. “As results are received for each school, we are notifying parents and other appropriate agencies as required by law of any drinking water sources that reveal lead levels equal to or exceeding 20 parts per billion.”

Combs said the drinking fountains and sinks will be out of use until further testing shows the lead levels meet statutory standards. If corrective actions is required, the the lead levels will be tested within 90 days.

He said the drinking fountains at Brighton Elementary, which were removed, were not in use. The other fountains were, however.

Testing is being done at each school in the county built prior to 1998. Only Atoka and Austin Peay elementary schools are excluded.

Combs said Tipton County Schools were one of the first, if not the first, in the area to conduct testing.

“The law provides two years to test, but we went ahead and tested every required school. We are being proactive in our efforts and are fully committed to the safety of our students, staff and visitors in each school.”

Echo Day
Author: Echo Day

Echo Day is an award-winning journalist, photographer and designer. She is currently The Leader's managing editor.