WHAT: Drinking water at thousands of schools nationwide has been found to contain unsafe levels of lead, pesticides and dozens of other toxins, according to an Associated Press investigation. The problem has gone largely unmonitored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, even as violations multiplied during the past decade.
WHERE: Contamination is worst at small-town schools with wells and inner-city schools with older lead pipes. In California’s farm belt, some school’s wells are so tainted with pesticides that students stuff their backpacks with bottled water for fear of getting sick from the drinking fountain.
HOW BAD IS CALIFORNIA: We have the most schools of any state and the most violations at 612. Nearly half the California violators were repeat offenders with insufficient funds to fix their problems.