The Jersey City Public Schools District is using $10 million in federal and state funding to replace all the lead pipes in the district.
In an interview with ABC Eyewitness news, Jersey City Schools Superintendent Norma Fernandez said, "My commitment as the superintendent is that our children have drinkable water every time."
According to Dr. Fernandez, for many years most students in the school district had not been able to drink from a water fountain because of high levels of lead. In fact, the district has provided water coolers for students to fill up water bottles while at school to address this concern.
As a result, parents and community activists have been demanding that the school district remediate this issue for over the past decade.
Fernandez said environmental companies ranked the school buildings worst to best in terms of lead contamination in the water. The school district went about planning to address the remediation in three phases starting with the most contaminated buildings.
In 2018, the school district applied for and received a $5 million federal grant water remediation and began a robust lead remediation process. Dr. Fernandez explained that after phases one and two were completed, and the grant ran out, the district investigated and secured more funding.
So far 70% of the district's buildings have safe drinking water. However, she said 14 buildings - about 30% of the district's buildings - are still in need of remediation, but Dr. Fernandez is hopeful it will be completed within the next two years.
WABC participated with ABC News and seven other ABC stations across the country taking a look at this issue in schools across the nation.
You can watch the full investigation called The American Classroom on Hulu or the ABC News app.