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Perth schools find lead in tap water

Perth communities are awaiting results after tap water at five schools was found to carry traces of lead.

While two of the schools (Doubleview Primary School and Southern Grove Primary School) have been cleared, results for testing at Rapids Landing Primary School, Aveley North Primary School and Aveley Secondary College will be available in coming days.

Education Department Director General Sharyn O’Neill told Perth Now that bottled water would continue to be provided at these three schools until further notice, and taps showing inconsistent readings would remain off limits.

“Initial tests conducted by the Department of Finance’s Building Management and Works found some taps in work areas, such as external hose taps and work sinks, showed slightly elevated levels of lead. Subsequent testing, however, showed no elevated levels in water from these taps,” O’Neill said.

“Any taps with inconsistent results will be off-limits to students and staff while further testing is undertaken.”

O’Neil said every measure is now being taken to ensure the health and safety of students.

“Senior Education and Health Department officers will work together on all preliminary test results that have been provided by the Department of Finance’s Building Management and Works, which is standard practice,” she said.

“I want to reassure parents that I take the safety of your children very seriously. If I was in your position I would want the alternate water source.”

Contamination is believed to have been caused by water remaining stagnant in pipes for months over the school holiday period.

The two schools that have been cleared will now operate normal water systems, with any remaining unused bottled water being passed onto other schools currently being tested.

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