Chicago parks shut off hundreds of drinking fountains after lead found

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CHICAGO — Officials say hundreds of drinking fountains in Chicago parks have been shut off after testing revealed high levels of lead in the water.

Chicago Park District officials said Tuesday they decided to take 459 of their 2,435 water fixtures out of service based on samples collected during the summer.

The ChicagoTribune reports consultants found a wide range of lead levels in Chicago parks and Park District facilities, similar to earlier reports from Chicago Public Schools, suburban school districts and schools operated by the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Potential sources include lead pipes and solder or lead in fixtures. Park District officials say they took action when the amount of lead at a particular fountain or sink exceeded the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s action level of 15 parts per billion.