Missouri Law Keeps School Drinking Water Safe from Lead
The State of Missouri legislature passed a law in August 2022 aimed to detect and treat the presence of lead in Missouri school drinking water. Officially titled, “Get the Lead Out of School Drinking Water Act,” the statute overwhelmingly passed both the state house of representatives and senate. Its key provisions are set to begin with the 2023-2024 academic year.
Here are answers to frequently asked questions about this new legislation:
Why was the legislation necessary?
The state of Missouri did not have any requirements for lead testing for Missouri schools. This is despite the fact that 70% of lead produced in the United States comes from southeastern Missouri. Research published by Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics in 2021 revealed that 80% of Missouri children had measurable levels of lead in their blood.
What are schools required to do?
- Conduct an inventory of all drinking water outlets and nonpotable water fixtures in each school building
- Remove certain drinking watercoolers that are not lead-free
- Install filters to reduce lead in drinking water, if found
- Provide general information on the health effects of lead contamination to employees and parents of children at each school
- Prioritize early childhood, kindergarten, and elementary schools for testing and filtering
- Make testing and remediation plans available on the school’s website
- Provide annual results to the Safe Drinking Water Commission and Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Who is required to participate?
All public school systems in the State of Missouri, all private schools offering kindergarten and higher grades, and all early childhood education centers that receive any state funding are required to participate in lead testing and abatement.
I am responsible for my school’s drinking water safety. Who can I call to start the testing process?
Your first call should be to St. John Environmental Consulting. The safety of your students, teachers and support staff is essential. You also deserve professional and responsive service. At St. John Environmental Consulting, utilize state-of-the-art technology approved by the EPA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Our accredited experts determine an appropriate sampling plan for your school and provide timely testing results.