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More than 100 Chicago Park District drinking fountains have been running nonstop for months — their on and off buttons intentionally disabled by the district.
This week, park officials revealed why. They made the move, they said, because tests showed these fountains deliver dangerously high lead-levels when they are returned to manual push-button operation. A continuous flow of water, however, reduces the lead levels substantially, officials said.
The policy comes more than a year after the district identified fountains with high lead levels, and more than a decade after it implemented efforts to cut the amount of water wasted by fountains.