The news coverage of Saint Louis Public Schools’ drinking water hasn’t gone unnoticed at Confluence Charter Schools. While we don’t have reason to believe there is a problem in our schools, as a precaution, we are scheduling environmental tests of the water fountains to ensure safety for our students and staff.
We hope this brief question-and-answer is helpful and will ease your concerns.
Will Confluence have the water fountains tested for lead levels?
Yes, we are scheduling tests for the water fountains in all of our schools. The water fountains were retrofitted into the buildings and are not as old as some that have been shown on local news reports, but nonetheless, the water fountains will be tested.
Do any of our older campuses have lead pipes? If not, what material are the pipes made of?
Most of the older buildings have cast iron or copper pipes, but any pipes that have been repaired or replaced in those buildings are made of PVC, which is a lightweight plastic.
What is our plan if something like high levels of lead in drinking water becomes a concern?
If there is a concern, we’ll follow the recommendations of the environmental studies firm to develop specific plans for safe drinking water based on the results of the study.
Please understand that Confluence doesn’t own all of its school buildings, so that means the responsibility for the infrastructure could come into question. We own the buildings at Aspire Academy, Confluence Academy-Old North and the Compton building at Confluence Academy-South City. We lease (rent) the Meramec building at South City from the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Confluence Preparatory Academy is leased from the St. Louis Public Library. The Sun Theater and Grand Center Arts Academy are leased from The Lawrence Group. If there are major plumbing issues, including the safety of the pipes, we would work together for a safe resolution for our students and staff.
One more thing - In January 2016, the city of St. Louis published a statement about safe drinking water. The city’s water exceeds state and federal regulations. The statement explains where the city’s water comes from, how it’s processed and treated, testing and regulations. Since it’s relevant to what we’re focused on, it’s worth sharing –
The health and safety of our students and staff is always a priority at Confluence Charter Schools. We will continue to keep our families and staff informed.