Water Spigot Usage

June 16, 2017: Liaisons recently became aware that children were being given water from coolers filled from an outdoor water spigot not safe for consumption. See our communication to David Fleishman and Josh Morse asking for better signage, communication to staff about safe water sources, and plans for safe water cooler usage.

3rd round tests come back clean

October 6, 2016: Wondering why post-remediation test results were so high and now seem okay? What changed? See our full explanation. The latest letter from David Fleishman makes it sound like that’s a wrap. However, we will continue to advocate for more testing, better signage, and cleaner hot water. See more here.

Burr Post-Remediation Testing Shows High lead levels persist

September 2, 2016: From David Fleishman’s letter today:

Results were received on Thursday, September 1st. We are disappointed to report that elevated lead levels were identified in two water fountains and five sinks. Copper levels were elevated in two fountains and seven sinks…

All water fountains will be shut off and dispensers will be installed to provide drinking water to all students and staff…

A brief update will be provided at the Burr Welcome Back coffee on Friday, September 9th at 8:30 a.m.

Note that a water bottle filler tested 20 ppb and a sink tested at 630 ppb! See the full results.

Plans for hot water at Burr revised

At our August 11th meeting with city and school staff, parent liaisons learned that hot water will flow through original pipes, contrary to the initial plan. See the details here.

NPS Lead monitoring and control policy improved

At our August 11th meeting (full meeting notes can be found here) between parent liaisons  and Mike Cronin and Josh Morse it was agreed that:

  • All NPS classroom sinks and bathrooms will have washing only / no drinking signs
  • NPS wide, fountains, nurse room sinks, staff room sinks, and kitchen sinks will be flushed after summer break, winter break, February break, and April break.
  • NPS wide, future testing will capture the worst case because it will occur at the end of February break (in 2017 and 2018), ensuring that water sits longer before testing than it does over a holiday weekend.
  • Fixtures testing above 10ppb will be replaced and retested, not just those testing above 15ppb.

Newton announces intention to help residents replace lead service lines

July 20, 2016: Check out the Tab article and city memo.

Update New results find contamination at 9 12 more NPS schools

July 18, 2016 July 22, 2016: In the first comprehensive drinking water testing conducted in Newton schools, 9 12 schools in addition to Burr are found to have lead levels above the action level of 15ppb. Moreover, of these 8 had additional fixtures testing above the WHO guideline of 10 ppb. Read the initial July 18 letter from Superintendent Fleishman and the full round 2 testing results updated July 22 (covering all fountains, kitchen sinks, staff room sinks, and nurse room sinks in all Newton schools).

12 more over 15

Moreover, an additional 3 schools were found to have lead contamination above the WHO guideline of 10 ppb.

3 more over 10

Historical Testing Results

mphasizes how important it is that Newton adopt policies that will keep our kids safe. Read what more the city and school district need to commit to. Note that:

  • Current plans do not appear to involve investigating the source of lead at these nine schools, seemingly contrary to MassDEP recommended follow-up steps.
  • New schools and new plumbing are not immune to lead problems, as shown by Newton North. Even new plumbing needs regular testing.
  • These results do not include classroom sinks, which are not being tested.

Meeting between city, NPS, and parent liaisons

July 21, 2016: A meeting is scheduled between parent liaisons and city and school officials. We plan to speak about commitments the city and school department have yet to make to ensure the safety of our children. If you have other concerns for us to raise, please let us know at

Burr remediation plan released

July 8, 2016: Check out the details here. Note, the plan explains how to give feedback and receive updates from the district:

Families and community members with questions or feedback can email the school department at Community members who would like to receive updates should send an email to the address above to be included on all future communications.

Fountains shut off in parks – take the survey

July 1, 2016: After shutting off all water fountains in our parks following test results showing high levels of lead, the city is currently running a survey about usage of fountains at our city parks. Please, if you have a spare 4 seconds, take the survey ( about your usage of outdoor fountains at public parks. It can only help the city better prepare for potential remediation. There is a write-in area at the bottom for your thoughts. Please let your officials know what you’d like addressed. It doesn’t hurt to keep our voices heard.  We also encourage you to read the note from the Commissioners of Public Works and Parks and Recreation.

Community Meeting Regarding Remediation at Burr Elementary

June 29, 2016: The school department held a community meeting on June 29th to explain tentative plans for remediation at Burr elementary. Thanks to Jessica Sturtevant for providing meeting notes. Please note that these are notes based on conversation at the meeting. There are still questions and decisions that need to be made or are in the process of being made and last nights discussion was a good starting point.

An important issue, still unresolved, is whether only cold water pipes will be replaced (as tentatively planned), or whether additional steps (such as installation of under-sink heaters) will be taken to eliminate lead from the hot water supply.  Please share your opinion with us at at!

In general, if you have comments or questions, feel free to reply to the group or direct to either the school liaisons (Jessica Sturtevant, Matt Mahoney, Bernard Fendler) or the city liaisons (Michael Grubb, Meredith Berg, Doug Whittington) at