Another public school district in a major U.S. city has had numerous schools test positive for unsafe levels of lead in their water systems.
According to a Thursday (August 18th) news report by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, lab results from a series of tests conducted this summer on the water systems of St. Louis Public Schools showed that 30 schools in the district had water with high levels of lead.
About half of all schools in the St. Louis public school district had at least one water fountain that was listed as “out of order” for the first week of this school year, the Post-Dispatch reports. This past June, the administrative board of the St. Louis public school district approved a $328,000 contract with Environmental Consultants LLC to begin testing the school district’s water systems.
During the middle of this week, letters were sent home with children who attended the 30 schools that were affected by high lead levels in the water systems. These letters notified parents of the problem and assured them that all defective water fountains were out of service and not being used.
“They will remain closed until we are able to remediate the lead level concern,” wrote Karessa Morrow, principal of Meramec Elementary in a letter sent home with children at that St. Louis public school.
Bottled water has been delivered to 12 schools where cafeteria water fountains were shut down. For the most part, a reactive approach by the St. Louis public school district has attempted to put a lid on the huge problem of water contamination.
One question is over what amount of time went on in the past, which exposed children to unsafe drinking water. Another question is over how pervasive the occurrences were of children drinking unsafe water and what affect doing so had on the health of those children.