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Leon County schools replacing fountains to help improve water quality

Leon County is moving forward with its own plan
Posted at 5:17 PM, Apr 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-04 17:17:17-04

LEON COUNTY, Fla. — As Florida lawmakers are talking about improving water quality in schools, Leon County is moving forward with its own plan.

Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna said the district is already working on replacing water fountains to get lead out of the system.

Any fountains that were put in more than five years ago are getting swapped out, because the standards changed in 2014.

The district says that's at least 1,000 fountains in just the elementary schools.

The high schools have water coolers. The district is putting in filters for those, too.

This is in addition to a flushing and monitoring program that's already checking water quality.

Hanna said this new move is out of an "abundance of caution."

"Even if the legislation fails, we're going to take this extra step. We're one of few districts in the state that even have a program and even allow for testing, but protecting our children from harm, including contaminants that are potentially in water, is very important for us," said Hanna.

The Florida House and Senate have their own bills about drinking water in public schools.

The Senate version is moving along faster than the House one.

Hanna says it will take about a year to get all of the fountains replaced and the filters installed.

It will cost about $300,000 to make the changes, and at least $100,000 a year to monitor and maintain the new system.