Lead In School’s Water: NKCSD Taking Action

School District Finds High Lead Concentration In 5 Drinking Sources
Lead In Schools Water: NKCSD Taking Action

After the Missouri state legislature passed the “Get the Lead Out of School Drinking Water Act,” the North Kansas City School District conducted “extensive water testing,”   and at Staley High School, there were two drinking and cooking sources and three additional water sources that had concentrations of lead above the state’s action level.

A press release from the district said, “Testing sought to identify any water sources in our facilities at or above the new five 5 parts per billion (ppb) (5 micrograms per liter) standard. The 5 ppb level now required by the state is below the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended action level of 15 ppb.”

According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the Get Lead Out of School Drinking Water Act was passed in 2022. It mandated that all water sources used for cooking or drinking must be tested. Anything above the new baseline of five parts per billion (ppb) is required to be remedied.

“An environmental company was hired to test the lead concentrations,” North Kansas City School District’s director of maintenance Mark Graviett said.

Testing took place December 2023 to January 2024.

“We sampled approximately 1,800 locations districtwide,” Graviett said. “Only five percent were at the state action level.”

Remediation plans include the elevated water sources being shut down until permanent action can be taken. They will not be completed until August 2024.

“The plumbing fixtures were removed and replaced with new ones, then will be resampled,” Graviett said.

Two cooking/drinking water sources in Staley High School did not meet the new standard, which were the sinks in FP 103, the old ProStart room, with values of 94.2 and 10.3 ppb. Since the opening of CR 183 in the 2022-2023 school year, the room is not in use.

Three non-drinking sources, such as sinks, were identified, two in FP 118 and one in FP 117, the theater dressing rooms. The sinks in FP 118 measured 6.1 and 5.8 ppb, while the sink in FP 117 measured 7.9 ppb.

“I’ve only used the sinks in there a couple times to get makeup off,” sophomore Colby Horton said.

As stated by Mayo Clinic, lead poisoning symptoms include high blood pressure, difficulty with memory, headaches, abdominal pain, and multiple issues with the cardiovascular, nervous, and reproductive systems.

Staley High School Results

At Staley High School, 118 samples were tested. 113 samples met state standards.

Two drinking/cooking sources and three additional water sources had concentrations of lead above the newly established State of Missouri action level of 5 ppb.

Drinking/Cooking Sources:

  • Room FP103 Sink: 94.2 ppb
  • Room FP103 East Wall Middle Sink: 10.3 ppb

Other Sources:

  • Room FP118 Left Sink: 6.1 ppb
  • Room FP118 Right Sink: 5.8 ppb
  • Room FP117 Right Sink: 7.9 ppb

*Source nkcschools.org

Read the full report here.

Read the letter sent to the school community members here


Timeline from North Kansas City School District. (nkcschools.org)


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