Iowa’s largest public school district is testing its water for lead contamination. There are no state requirements for schools to routinely test their water supplies, but following reports of high levels of lead in school drinking water supplies around the country, Des Moines Public Schools decided they’d test all of their school buildings. Phil Roeder with the district says the average age of its schools is 65 years. He says all of the buildings have been renovated at some point.
“It wouldn’t be a surprise if in a building whether it’s new or old you might test 10 or 15 sources of water and one of them would have a problem and the rest wouldn’t,” he said. “It could be a very isolated incident and a lot of times the correction for that can be relatively simple”
Roeder says they’ve been talking with local health officials in case there’s a spike in interest for parents to have their kids tested for lead. More than 32-thousand students are enrolled in Des Moines Public Schools for this academic year. The district plans to release the results of the tests on its website later this month.