Bountiful school installs new water system after lead scare

Sep 20, 2022, 9:56 AM | Updated: Sep 21, 2022, 12:03 pm

BOUNTIFUL, Utah — Over the summer, Saint Olaf Catholic School tested its drinking water as they do every year.

This time, though, tests came back showing signs of lead in the water.

The school’s principal came up with an action plan alongside RETEGO Labs, a water testing lab based out of West Bountiful.

RETEGO Labs said there is no safe level of lead when it comes to children.

When RETEGO Labs found lead in Saint Olaf’s water, the school took action by immediately turning off the water fountains and bringing in drinkable water.

To get rid of the lead, Leslie Merrill, RETEGO Labs president, helped put in a whole new water system.

“It first goes through this series of filters,” Merrill said.

The building was built around the 1950s.

It now includes new piping that carries water that’s been purified multiple times to brand new water fountains.

Simon Robert McFall, Saint Olaf Catholic School principal, said they want only the best for their students.

“We didn’t want to just find out if the water was good or clean. We wanted to find out that it was the best,” McFall said.

Clean water is available to all 140 of their students.

“It’s now what you do, and what are you gonna do with that info?” McFall said.

It was a no question for Saint Olaf’s principal, despite the nearly $30,000 price tag that comes with putting in the new water system.

“Yeah, the number is big. We don’t receive public funding, but… how do you put a price tag on the safety of a child? How do you put a price on the safety and quality of the community?” McFall said.

Retego Labs said the clean water came with a quick turnaround and took only a couple of days.

Now, more than 11,000 gallons of clean water have made their way through the system with no sign of lead after another round of testing.

“I would dare say that the drinking water in this school is the best drinking water in the state,” Merrill said.

Saint Olaf’s principal said students were never exposed to water with lead as all the clean water came in before school started. Families were also notified of what happened with the water.

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Bountiful school installs new water system after lead scare