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Delaware schools to be tested again for lead in drinking water


The Delaware Department of Education hires a private firm to test for lead in drinking water in the state’s schools.

The Department of Education will have Batta Environmental Associates of Newark conduct the testing.

The state with support of a federal grant began a sampling initiative in schools in October 2020- testing for lead levels in drinking water, but there were mistakes in the initial lead sampling.

Those included testing buildings during the COVID-19 closures, testing non-consumption sources, and the need to better communicate testing results.

The state has identified fixtures in 14 districts and one charter school that tested at 7.5 parts per billion or higher, and they have been turned off.

Delaware Secretary of Education Mark Holodick says those schools will be first to be tested.

"Anything over 7.5 parts per billion were turned off, and we confirmed that they were turned off and provided signage to go along with them. Those schools will be tested first starting next week," said Holodick.

Holodick says money won’t stand in the way of ensuring there’s safe and clean drinking water in schools.

"In a perfect world I'm hopeful - fingers crossed - that the remediation efforts require smaller amounts of resources and dollars, but if it's not the case we are committed to supporting our districts and getting that done,” said Holodick. “I've talked with a number of legislators who have expressed an interest in ensuring that. I know in talking with the governor that he's dedicated to making sure that happens."

Holodick is optimistic that if there are lead issues at any more schools the costs won’t be too high to fix.

The testing in total will take about three months to complete, and all results and updates will be posted on

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.