After therapy dog refuses to drink, San Diego Unified finds lead in water

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A dog’s reluctance to drink from a bowl in a San Diego classroom led to the discovery of lead in the school’s water system, and testing of all pipes in the San Diego Unified School District will begin soon.

According to a notice sent Friday to parents and staff members Emerson-Bandini Elementary and the San Diego Co-Operative Charter School 2, which share a single campus, a teacher at the charter school noticed her therapy dog would not drink from a bowl filled with water from the classroom sink on Jan. 26.

The teacher then saw a sheen on the water, which led to the district sampling numerous water outlets on the campus. After detecting contaminates that exceeded the state’s allowable level, the district contacted its water provider, the City of San Diego, which has agreed to test all district properties, including its 187 campuses, at no cost.

San Diego Unified public information officer Andrew Sharp said that at the time of the lead discovery, the district already was in discussions with the City of San Diego to test all water in its properties as part of a new program offered by the state.


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