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Get Lead out of School Drinking Water Act Report

As our community knows, the Bayless School District is committed to the safety and well-being of our students, staff and community. In alignment with that commitment, and in compliance with the new Missouri state law, “Get the Lead Out of School Drinking Water Act,” Bayless hired a professional environmental consulting firm to initiate and complete testing of our water sources.

Specifically, each possible drinking and food preparation water source in our schools and buildings was sampled and tested to determine if lead concentration was above the required action level of five parts per billion (5 ppb), which is equal to 5 micrograms per liter. The 5 ppb level required by the State of Missouri is more strict than the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) recommended action level of 15 ppb.

While the law specifies that all PK-12 schools receiving state funding have until August 1, 2024, to complete testing at all drinking water outlets and food preparation outlets, Bayless acted promptly, in accordance with our commitment to protecting our community, and tested our facilities this summer.

Below are the results of our tests, broken down by building:


Fixtures Tested

Fixtures above 5 ppb

% above 5 ppb


food prep

% above 5 ppb Drinking/food prep

High School





Junior High School










    *All of the drinking/food prep fixtures that were above 5 ppb have been replaced.

Understanding the results and taking action:

At Bayless High School, of the 37 failing fixtures, 33 are science lab sinks in science classrooms and are not used for drinking water or food preparation. Two fixtures were removed and replaced as part of a planned renovation this summer. The final two remaining fixtures identified have already been replaced. The failing science lab classroom fixtures will be identified as non-potable water and either removed from service or replaced.

At Bayless Junior High School, four failing fixtures are located in science classrooms and are not used for drinking water or food preparation. The one other fixture identified was a wash faucet and was replaced. The science lab classroom fixtures will be identified as non-potable water and replaced. 

At Bayless Elementary (which includes Early Childhood), four fixtures were bathroom wash sinks and one fixture was a drinking fountain. All of these fixtures have been replaced.

Additional Testing

In accordance with the statute, we will conduct follow-up testing in all areas identified as deficient. We will provide the results of our follow-up testing to you. Please know we will work diligently to remove every source that is out of compliance.

If you have questions about a lead sample result at a specific outlet and actions taken, or if you have concerns, please email Assistant Superintendent Mike Hawkins at

If you have questions regarding the health of your child or for additional information regarding lead testing, please contact your primary healthcare provider or the South County Health Center at 314-615-0400.

Additional Resources

Lead is rarely found in source water like groundwater or rivers. Typically, lead in water is the result of corrosion, or the wearing away, of lead-containing materials in the water distribution system, such as pipes and faucets. Since 1986, all plumbing materials must be “lead-free.” The law currently allows plumbing materials to be up to 0.25% lead to be labeled as “lead-free.” While smaller amounts of lead are used in newer water distribution systems, corrosion still occurs. When water stands in lead pipes or plumbing systems containing lead for several hours or more, the lead may dissolve into the drinking water. In such circumstances, the first water drawn from a tap in the morning typically contains the highest traces of lead.

Lead in drinking water, although rarely the sole cause of lead poisoning, can significantly increase a person’s total lead exposure. The EPA estimates that drinking water can make up 20% or more of a person’s total exposure to lead. According to the EPA (, children of any age are susceptible to the effects of lead, with children under the age of six being most at risk. While effects may vary in scope and severity, the EPA reports that lead might lead to behavior and learning problems, lower IQ, hyperactivity, slowed growth, hearing problems and anemia. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that the impact of lead exposure on children can be impacted by a variety of factors, including age, nutrition, the source of exposure, length of time of the exposure, and other underlying health conditions. Elevated levels of lead in pregnant women can also be harmful, possibly severely, to both babies and mothers. Your physician or healthcare provider can provide additional information regarding the effects of lead exposure and, with respect to one’s health history, whether testing for lead should be considered.

Useful Information

Official statute language 

Basic information about lead in drinking water

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services 

St. Louis County Department of Health lead information 

Full Consultant Report