PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Small upgrades have been made that could have a big impact on the health and safety of students in the Pittsburgh Public Schools District.

When students return to class next week, they’ll find new water fountains and filling stations.

In June, the district announced it would voluntarily test water and fountains for lead. The board had approved a plan for all of the schools to have new water systems and then at the same time, voluntarily check to see if there was lead in the water.

In all, 4,700 samples from faucets and fountains were tested for lead with about 130 to 140 testing positive.

About a dozen faucets and fountains were replaced this summer. While students may not necessarily notice that change, they will likely notice the 300 bi-level water coolers installed in 67 Pittsburgh Public Schools and facilities that cost $1.5 million.

“You had some older schools that had none, you had newer schools that had a handful. Typically, we saw that most of our samples were from sinks that weren’t used, sinks in a cloak room, sinks that were in classrooms that weren’t used a lot,” Pittsburgh Public Schools Chief Operating Officer Ronald Joseph said.

A full report on which schools tested positive for lead will be released in the next few weeks as well as the total cost for both projects.

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