Passing the Test

WSD lead testing results are finally in

Liberty%27s+water+fountains+were+determined+to+be+clean+and+clear+of+any+lead+contamination.
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Passing the Test

Liberty's water fountains were determined to be clean and clear of any lead contamination.

Liberty's water fountains were determined to be clean and clear of any lead contamination.

Liberty's water fountains were determined to be clean and clear of any lead contamination.

Liberty's water fountains were determined to be clean and clear of any lead contamination.

Max Fensterman, Website Manager

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Hopefully, the student body concerns itself with the quality and cleanliness of the water at Liberty. Luckily, the Wentzville School District has taken proper initiative. On Dec. 28, Liberty and the other district schools collected samples of water to be tested for dangerous lead levels.

Samples were taken from 69 sources at Liberty, and only one of them tested as “action level required.” The exact source of the failed test: a pot-filling sink in the Liberty cafeteria which is reported to not be in use, but is expected to see action as our enrollment grows.

Don’t let this one positive result fool though. Liberty’s water is still perfectly safe to drink, no matter how warm or off-tasting the drinking fountain water is.

“An important piece of information to keep in mind is that this testing was done on a ‘first draw’ basis,” said Mary LaPak, who is the Wentzville School District’s Director of Community Relations. “First draw is achieved by allowing the water system to rest for at least eight hours prior to sampling in order to collect any existing debris or sediment within the sample.”

The goal of this process is to get a sample with the most amount of contaminants possible to be. As long as it’s done correctly, a regular use of the water source would yield much lower levels of lead and contaminants.

In addition, the district took impressive initiative by setting the “action level required” threshold at 15 parts per billion. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s website, the threshold for a public school’s water source is no greater than 20 parts per billion. If the district had followed the bare minimum federal guideline, the water would’ve passed the test.

As for the sink at Liberty that tested positive, a thorough cleaning has been performed and a re-test has been taken. The district is awaiting the results of the re-test.

“We are following the recommendations of the consultant and if anything tested higher than 10 parts per billion, we do intend to re-test those sources annually at the very least,” LaPak said.

The district has said that future testing will be performed, but the frequency and scope of the future tests is still up for debate.

Although there should be no cause for concern about the recent test results, students can join Liberty’s new environmental club. Senior Ben Collins started the club and it aims to bring together like-minded environmentalists and better the school and community through education of environmental risks and hazards.

“I see the results as definitely a problem, although the Liberty source that tested positive wasn’t necessarily a source of drinking water. I understand that a drinking fountain at one of the elementary schools did test positive,” Collins said.

In fact, two drinking fountains did test positive but one was at Frontier Middle and the other was at South Middle. The fountains were immediately removed and replaced, they won’t be in use again until the re-test results come back negative.

It is apparent that students can rest easy knowing that our water is, and always has been, safe to drink.