Lead Detected in Water at Havre Public Schools, Fixtures in Question Shut Off

HAVRE, Mont. (NMB) – All public schools in Montana were required to test their drinking water for lead in 2021.

Many Districts failed to meet the deadline, and for those that did, including Havre Public Schools, the results were not optimal.

All fixtures at Sunnyside Elementary had levels of lead in the water that was safe to drink, and just one fixture at Lincoln-McKinley showed lead at a level that required routine flushing but not immediate replacement, but the other three schools in the District had at least one fixture that had excess levels of lead over 15 parts per billion, meaning they immediately had to be shut off.

This includes water from one fixture at Highland Park, four at Havre High School, and 25 at Havre Middle School.

Superintendent Craig Mueller says the District is continuing to address the issue.

“We will be able to provide to the community more detailed and more specific information once we know the extent of what we need to do to make sure we’re in compliance.”

Havre Public Schools is far from the only District in the state that found excess levels of lead in some sources of drinking water, as Districts such as Billings School District are in the same boat.

Funds for testing were provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and allocated via Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality. It is possible that some funding from the recently passed Infrastructure bill could go towards remediating the issue.

*On the date this story was published, data from tests on fixtures at Havre High School could be viewed on pages 248-255 and 546-562 at the link at the beginning of the article. The pages the data is on may change as more schools provide test results. 

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