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BROCKTON (CBS) — The halls of Brockton High School have been overhauled this summer because of what was found inside the walls.

Deputy Superintendent for Operations Mike Thomas says it was “incumbent upon us to make sure the environment the kids come to school in is safe, clean and healthy.”

The healthy environment was compromised by a problem plaguing schools not only in the district, but across Massachusetts: high copper and lead levels in the drinking water.

water2 Brockton High School Replaces Old Water Fountains With New Filtered Stations

A new drinking fountain at Brockton High School.

Thomas says the average age of buildings in Brockton is between 40 and 50 years old.

“It was important for us to test all of our water sources,” said Thomas.

More than 1,000 schools statewide signed up for a volunteer testing program overseen by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

The tests revealed that more than half of the schools tested contained copper and or lead rates above the established “action level.”

water3 Brockton High School Replaces Old Water Fountains With New Filtered Stations

One of the new filtered hydration stations at Brockton High. (WBZ-TV)

Brockton Schools says it shut off every water source that tested with an elevated level immediately.

According to Thomas, the source of the problem was the faucets, which the district was already in the process of replacing.

Once the test results came back however, the district moved quickly to convert the old fountains to a total of 80 filtered water “hydration stations.”

There is one on every floor in every school in the district – at a cost of roughly $50,000.

water1 Brockton High School Replaces Old Water Fountains With New Filtered Stations

Students can keep track of how much plastic bottle waste they’re saving. (WBZ-TV)

“They are kind of neat,” said Brockton High School Principal Clifford Murray. “The students can fill up their bottles, it actually tracks electronically, digitally how much plastic is saved, by the refill of the bottle.”

“It is kind of an incentive for the kids,” he said.


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