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The Source: Calls For Texas Schools To Test For Lead

Chris Eudaily
TPR News

Texas schools needs to test for lead, says a recent op-ed from Environment Texas head Luke Metzger and Dallas Democratic Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson. Before 1986 - and a Congressional Ban - buildings regularly used lead materials such as solder in water infrastructure and could be getting into the water supply argue the two in yesterday's Dallas Morning News.

Kidney failure and high blood pressure, as well as developmental brain problems are known to be caused by lead exposure. 

Some school districts are taking on the process of testing, such as Alamo Heights ISD. Southwest ISD says they test the water system they maintain from non-SAWS wells in the county and in their schools outside the city limits. Like many other school districts in San Antonio, including Northside and SAISD, they rely on the San Antonio Water System to provide lead-free water. SAISD does test its early childhood development centers.

The San Antonio Water System regularly tests, maintains and knows what is in its water, says Anne Haydn. Though they only do that up to the meter. They do not test within educational buildings, and that is the responsibility of school districts. Older buildings may have lead water infrastructure. 

It is important to note that San Antonio's water is especially alkaline, or hard, and filled with calcium and minerals that often builds up in pipes, rather than leaching from them. The threat of lead being introduced from pipes in the city supply is low as a result, says Haydn.

Other Texas cities however have softer, more acidic water.


  • Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas
  • Eddie Bernice Johnson, Democratic congresswoman representing Texas 30th district, which includes Dallas
Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive