Clean Water in Our Schools

Clean Water in Our Schools
Posted on 06/30/2016

There is no doubt that fresh water is one of the most precious resources in our world. Not only has the quality of water received a lot of recent attention in local news about cleaning up Lake Menomin and the Red Cedar River, but the quality of drinking water made national headlines this past year with high amounts of lead found in the water in Flint, Michigan.

While local municipalities that supply water in our communities follow rigorous testing methods and strict protocols to ensure that the drinking water coming into our facilities is clean, there is less monitoring of the water once it reaches a local service.

In order to be proactive, this spring the School District of the Menomonie Area (SDMA) teamed with the water department from the City of Menomonie, the Dunn County Board of Health, and other local municipalities to test the water in all of the schools in the school district, including our rural elementary schools in Knapp and Downsville. SDMA Director of Buildings and Grounds Mike Meyers took over 30 samples from a variety of main consumption locations at each site including kitchen sinks, drinking fountains, classrooms, and other points of use considered to be the highest risk locations for lead and copper due to the plumbing materials used during the time period that the school buildings were constructed.

According to City of Menomonie Water Department Superintendent Jeremy Hoyt, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for lead, copper, and other possible contaminants have been prescribed in the Safe Drinking Water Act. We are happy to report, that at each of our school sites, the samples taken meet or exceed the standards set in the Safe Drinking Water Act, and that we have clean water in our schools.

Despite the favorable results from our school district’s voluntary investigative drinking water tests, city representatives will visit all sites again in 2017 for scheduled compliance testing as required by the EPA and defined in the Safe Drinking Water Act. We will continue to work with our municipal partners to ensure that the learning environment in our schools is healthy and safe for our children, staff, and community.

Should school stakeholders have any questions about drinking water in our school district, I invite you to visit the Administrative Service Center on Pine Avenue or contact me at 715-232-1642. More information about our schools can be found on the school district website ( and on Twitter (