NewsMissoula County


MCPS water tests come back, forcing schools to close water stations

Some school water stations showing high lead value
Russell Elementary Lead
Posted at 3:13 PM, Mar 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-29 11:44:32-04

MISSOULA - Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS) has shut down school water stations after test results came back showing a high lead value.

The district has been voluntarily testing its school water samples for years. However, recently some of those tests came back with samples exceeding the Montana Department of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) lead limit of 5 parts per billion.

MCPS officials say they took immediate action in shutting down the water stations at schools that tested above 5 parts per billion. Those stations will remain closed until they can be replaced or a new filter is installed.

Additionally, the district will test the water every three years, per the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and the DEQ.

"Fixtures that were found to have higher concentrations of lead in them will be mitigated and retested before they're open again and then Meantime, they will remain shut down temporarily," said MCPS spokesperson Tyler Christensen.

The results showed that one drinking fountain at Russell Elementary School had six times the safe level of lead. For a full list of MCPS schools and results, click here.

CORRECTION: The lead limit is a Montana Department of Environmental Quality requirement, not an EPA requirement as previously reported.