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New water filters will be installed into schools that were built before 1986. Hillsborough County Public Schools continues to be a national leader on testing lead in drinking water.

New Water Filters Slated for Area Schools

August 01, 2019 - Points of Pride

State Senator Janet Cruz is partnering with Superintendent Jeff Eakins to officially launch her campaign, "Get the Lead Out Hillsborough." Senator Cruz is raising private funds to install water filters in area schools that were built before 1986. 

The school district is a state and national leader when it comes to testing water for lead. There is no state requirement to conduct testing. However, Hillsborough County Public Schools have tested each school and they are all below EPA's lead guidelines. The hundreds of new filters funded by Senator Cruz will bring levels even closer to zero. This will prevent contamination as pipes get older. 

Filters will be installed on water fountains with chilled water, bubblers, ice machines and kitchen sinks. Each filter reduces lead levels by 99.3-99.4%. Although our water is already far below the EPA safety guideline of 15 parts per billion, these filters will bring lead levels down to .1 parts per billion. That is even lower than the strictest recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which is 1 part per billion as a safe level of lead.

The first filters were installed at Shore Elementary. "Get Out the Lead Hillsborough" will serve as a pilot program for schools statewide. 

This program stems from a bill Senator Cruz attempted to pass in the 2019 legislative session that would have installed filters statewide in schools built prior to 1986. It failed due to an incomplete fiscal analysis. Senator Cruz was determined to head home to Hillsborough County to spearhead the campaign for students and teachers.

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