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Hundreds of new water filters to be installed in Hillsborough County Schools to stop lead exposure

"Get The Lead Out Hillsborough" launching
Posted at 4:34 AM, Aug 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-26 04:39:47-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Hillsborough County School leaders are taking steps to prevent lead from getting into school drinking water.

District leaders are working alongside State Senator Janet Cruz to launch the new initiative “Get The Lead Out Hillsborough” at Philip Shore Elementary. The plan allows hundreds of new filters to be funded by this effort and will bring lead levels even closer to zero, according to the district.

They say this will help prevent contamination as pipes get older, and serve as a pilot for schools statewide.

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All Hillsborough County schools now measure below the EPA’s lead guidelines, according to the district. There is no state requirement for testing.

Shore Elementary is one of Hillsborough County’s oldest schools, opening in Ybor City in 1922 after Philip Shore was appointed to the Hillsborough County School Board in 1917.

During the 2019 Legislative Session, Senator Cruz sponsored to install water filters statewide in schools built before 1986, when lead materials were still used in building construction, in an effort to get the lead out of school drinking water.

The bill failed due to an incomplete fiscal analysis.

In response, Senator Cruz returned home to Hillsborough County and has spearheaded her own campaign to serve Hillsborough County’s students, teachers, and staff by raising the money to purchase and install filters in Hillsborough County schools as a pilot project that will provide cleaner, safer water for those schools and offer the Florida Legislature a fiscal analysis of the proposed legislation.

Cruz will join Good Morning Tampa Bay at 7 a.m. Monday to discuss her efforts.

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