Testing finds elevated lead levels in water at Howell’s NW Elementary

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At Northwest Elementary, two test sites showed elevated lead levels in water, according to a press release from the Howell Public Schools District. Test results from Southeast, Southwest and Challenger elementary schools came back as “lead safe” and within the Environmental Protection Agency’s acceptable levels. The district said it is awaiting results from seven more buildings.

The district is placing portable water coolers at Northwest for student and staff use as it works to locate the problem. A second round of water tests at the school will be conducted Friday, Feb. 19 to verify the original water test results.

Howell Public Schools began a water testing program in each of its 11 school buildings in light of the water crisis in Flint.

“The safety of our students and staff is always one of our top priorities,” said Erin MacGregor, Howell Public Schools, superintendent. “We began water testing with our older elementary schools and will continue to test each building in the district.”

“We are taking the elevated levels at Northwest very seriously. We will be conducting a second more extensive round of testing with representatives from the City of Howell and their experts and have asked that the test results be expedited. The second round of testing will either verify the test results or disprove them,” said MacGregor. “If the second round of testing shows that we do indeed have elevated levels, we will immediately begin working to identify and correct the problem.  The water coolers will remain in place until we receive test results that are within safe levels.”

Howell Public Schools has sent a communication to all parents regarding this issue and the ongoing water testing.

Here is the email:

super email

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The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.


  1. If there is any elevated lead level in the potable water in a school building, the pipes that feed water to the building and fresh water carrying pipes in the building need to be examined. If lead is leaching from these pipes, they will need to be replaced immediately. Since there are budget considerations, in this case funds will need to be shifted to solve this problem if it exists.

  2. As a parent of a student at NWE, id I’d like to know what, EXACTLY, the results of the 1st round of tests were?

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