Helping Missouri schools test their water for dangerous lead

Two Missouri schools took us up on our offer to test their water.

NewsChannel 5 On Your Side partnered with health experts to make local school districts a unique offer: Free lead testing of their water.

The result?

Thursday night we showed you one Illinois school that had enough lead that they took immediate action.

Now, we visit two Missouri School Districts.

Sunrise School district in rural Jefferson County has just one building with about three hundred kids, and not a lot of extra cash for something like lead testing.

“We would not be able to do on our own if somebody wasn't helping us fund that,” said Sunrise Superintendent Armand Spurgin.

So 5 On Your Side stepped in with the help of Jeff Faust, co-owner of "Environmental Consultants", an EPA certified drinking water company.

In fact, Faust donated his team's services for free.

They collected water samples at Sunrise and two other education districts, New Haven in Franklin County and East Alton in Illinois.

Then, the samples came to Teklab, which despite its busy schedule, also donated it's services for free.

The EPA has a health recommendation of zero lead exposure but out of practical concerns allows 15 to 20 parts per billion.

“The good news is we had no samples that registered in excess of the 20 parts per billion standard,” said Faust.

The highest readings in the 5, 6 and 9 parts per billion range.

“Years down the road, they will continue to degrade,” said Faust.

With the amount of lead going up and up.

So, Faust consulted with the Sunrise and New Haven districts and recommended a routine inspection and cleaning schedule for water fixtures and retesting.

And both districts are instituting routine inspection plans because as the Sunrise Superintendent says, “You can't be too careful when it comes to water quality.”

The EPA recommends schools test for lead in drinking water, but it's not mandatory.

Illinois lawmakers are currently considering a measure to make it a requirement in the state.

We posted the complete lead testing results for the Sunrise and New Haven School Districts below.

Sunrise School District lead test

New Haven School Districts lead test


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