|Pattonville water safe for consumption|
|Thursday, February 9, 2017|
Last semester, the Pattonville School District tested water sources in each of its buildings as a precautionary measure. Pattonville was among dozens of local school districts that conducted precautionary testing after higher-than-normal lead levels were found in water sources at school districts in St. Louis and Flint, Michigan.
An independent contractor tested every water source in Pattonville (nearly 1,400), including drinking fountains, kitchen sinks, utility closet sinks, restroom sinks and sinks in science lab tables or other classroom areas. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends a two-step process when testing for lead. The first step involves taking a sample of water that has been sitting stagnant overnight. After this initial test, about 15 percent of the water sources showed lead readings above EPA guidelines of 15 parts per billion. The vast majority of these were faucets not used for water consumption, such as science lab tables that are used infrequently. The second step in the process involved allowing the water to run briefly before collecting a sample from water sources showing initial readings above EPA guidelines. This is called a flush sample. The flush sample can represent water samples during a typical day. Following these flush samples, all of the readings on water sources requiring the second step were negligible and below EPA guidelines, showing no issues with Pattonville's internal plumbing. Nonetheless Pattonville has opted on the side of caution and took 27 sinks and faucets that could be used for water consumption out of service until they can be replaced (estimated to be final in the next few weeks).
Pattonville continues to place an emphasis on updating its schools and facilities to provide safe learning environments for its students. The district's priority will always remain on doing what's best for the safety and wellbeing of all students and staff.