UNC Chapel-Hill moves to next phase of testing after finding lead in water fixtures

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Friday, October 28, 2022
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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is now moving into phase 3 of testing for lead in the water of some buildings.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is moving on to the next phase of its testing after the discovery of lead in the water of some buildings.

Detectable levels of lead were discovered in campus water fixtures during a class project.

UNC says it's taking an aggressive approach to resolve the potentially toxic concerns.

The buildings where the lead was discovered were built on or before 1930.

On Friday, UNC leaders ended phase 2 of testing the water fixtures in buildings on campus with a testing in Bynum Hall.

So far, 50 buildings have been tested. Thursday an Enviornmental Health and Safety team at UNC confirmed detectable levels were found in kitchen sinks at Henderson Street and Hickerson House.

George Battle with UNC says the procedure that follows after finding traces of lead in the water varies by either changing a water fixture or adding filtration.

Dr. Rebecca Fry and Battle say this discovery has helped their campus and believe it could inspire other older institutions to do the same. "Metals are ubiquitous and we are not alone in this issue and so what we are uncovering here it is likely to exist in many other parts of the country," Dr. Fry said.

As many as 100 people have been tested for lead poisoning, all have come back at normal levels. For any buildings not tested yet water jugs are available to students and staff