ST. LOUIS (AP/KMOX) – Preliminary testing shows lead contamination in the water in some St. Louis school buildings.
Water has been shut off at fountains and sinks in dozens of St. Louis Public School buildings. The district began testing all the water fountains in sinks for lead earlier this summer after the widespread lead contamination in Flint, Michigan.
St. Louis Public Schools spokesman Patrick Wallace says drinking fountains and sinks are shut off in several school buildings until pipes and faucets are replaced.
Wallace says the tests covered 744 water fountains and sinks at 74 school buildings. Based on preliminary data, 82 sources in 30 different buildings have a lead level in excess of 10 parts per billion.
Of those 30 buildings, 12 are providing bottled water to students and staff.
Among the schools is Meramec Elementary School. One drinking fountain and 11 sinks at Meramec are shut off due to unsafe levels of lead.
Principals sent letters home to all parents including at those schools with no water concerns.
“Corrective measures to remediate or replace each drinking fountain and sink are taking place as quickly as possible. In some cases, parts must be ordered and may delay immediate corrective action. However, all schools will have adequate sources of consumable water at all times,” Wallace says.
He adds, the testing of SLPS water fountains and sinks is being conducted under “the strictest conditions to ensure our water sources are as safe as possible for students and staff.” While corrective action is required for any level exceeding 20 parts per billion, the District says it has established a more stringent threshold of 10 parts per billion to address any potential future water issues.
High levels of lead exposure can contribute to decreased IQ or development of learning disabilities, especially in young children.
The following schools had at least one test sample indicate a lead level in excess of 10 parts per billion and are providing bottled water to students:
Beaumont High School
Carver Elementary School
Clay Elementary School
Fanning Middle School
Mann Elementary School
Nahed Chapman New American Academy
Northwest Law Academy High School
Patrick Henry Downtown Academy
Shenandoah Elementary School
Sigel Elementary School
Sumner High School
The following schools had at least on test sample indicate a lead level in excess of 10 parts per billion, but have enough accessible water sources and are not providing bottled water:
AESM Middle School
Busch Middle School
Carr Lane Middle School
Clyde C. Miller High School
Compton-Drew Middle School
Cote Brilliante Elementary School
Gateway STEM High School
Gateway Middle School
Herzog Elementary School
Hickey Elementary School
Laclede Elementary School
Langston Middle School
Long Middle School
Meramec Elementary School
Oak Hill Elementary School
Roosevelt High School
Vashon High School
Final test results are expected to be received by the District on August 25th.
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