COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–The drinking fountain on the first floor of the Senate Building that an NBC4 investigation revealed had dangerously high levels of lead in the water now has a sign that reads, “Out of Service.” A push of the button at its base confirms the water here has been shut off.
Just above, at a drinking fountain on the second floor, a similar sign and a lack of water..
“Currently, both of those are offline, out of service and until we get to the bottom of this, they will remain offline,” said Luke Stedke of the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB), which operates the statehouse.
After our investigation revealed dangerous levels of lead in water from the first floor fountain, CSRAB has been paying for independent tests of all the drinking fountains at the statehouse.
The first round of testing revealed elevated lead at the two fountains and a faucet in one of the kitchens.
But, in a second series of tests of those 3 locations, where the water was turned on for two minutes, then sampled, the testing revealed elevated lead only in the drinking fountain on the second floor.
Now, Ledke confirms that drinking fountain will be torn apart as CSRAB tries to determine the source of the lead and whether the fountains will ever flow again.
“If it’s going to cost too much to mitigate, we’ll just take them offline,” Stedke says.
Stedke also confirms a routine of running the water for two minutes a day at all drinking fountains at the statehouse is now being considered, which would flush out the lead before anyone could get a drink.
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