Water Testing

Get the Lead out of School Drinking Water Act (RSMo 160.077)

The New Haven School District is committed to the safety and well-being of our students and staff. In alignment with that commitment and in compliance with the new Missouri state law, “Get the Lead Out of School Drinking Water Act,” we have contracted with ESA, Inc. for the testing of our water. Specifically, each possible drinking and food preparation source in our schools will be sampled and tested to determine if the lead concentration in the water is above the required action level of five parts per billion (5 ppb), which is equal to 5 micrograms per liter. The 5 ppb level required by the state is below the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) recommended action level of 15 ppb.

Lead is rarely found in source water like groundwater or rivers. Typically, lead in water is the result of corrosion, or the wearing away, of lead-containing materials in the water distribution system such as pipes and faucets. Since 1986, all plumbing materials must be “lead-free”. The law currently allows plumbing materials to be up to 0.25 percent lead to be labeled as “lead-free”. While there are fewer amounts of lead used in newer water distribution systems, corrosion still occurs. When water stands in lead pipes or plumbing systems containing lead for several hours or more, the lead may dissolve into the drinking water. In such circumstances, the first water drawn from a tap in the morning typically contains the highest traces of lead.

Lead in drinking water, although rarely the sole cause of lead poisoning, can significantly increase a person’s total lead exposure. The EPA estimates that drinking water can make up 20% or more of a person’s total exposure to lead. According to the EPA (www.epa.gov), children of any age are susceptible to the effects of lead, with children under the age of 6 being most at risk.

While effects may vary in scope and severity, the EPA reports that lead might lead to behavior and learning problems, lower IQ, hyperactivity, slowed growth, hearing problems, and anemia. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that the impact of lead exposure on children can be impacted by a variety of factors including age, nutrition, the source of exposure, length of time of the exposure, and other underlying health conditions.

Elevated levels of lead in women who are pregnant can also be harmful, possibly severely, to both babies and mothers. Your physician or healthcare provider can provide additional information regarding the effects of lead exposure and, with respect to one’s health history, whether testing for lead should be considered.

Useful Information

New Haven High/Middle School Inventory of Water Outlets

New Haven Elementary School Inventory of Water Outlets

Official statute language

Basic information about lead in drinking water

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

St. Louis County Department of Health Lead Information