Two Local School Districts Tackling Water Contamination Issues

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

There's water contamination in two West Texas School Districts. The Environmental Protection Agency says schools all across the country are in violation in cities big and small.

Texas has quite a few schools in violation, but here in West Texas there are two School Districts with water contamination reports. Both of those are because of high levels of Nitrate. School district officials say it's not quite as bad as it sounds. 

The EPA says nitrate is usually found at varying levels depending on how much fertilizer is in the soil. Common sources are animal waste, septic tanks, and fertilizers. Grady and Greenwood Districts both tell NewsWest 9, it's normal to find higher levels of nitrate inside farming communities that depend on well water. High nitrate levels seep into the wells and into drinking water.

The real affect is on infants younger than six months and women who are pregnant. Both could become seriously ill if they ingest water with ultra-high levels of nitrate. So the school districts are taking some precautions: The Grady School District is providing bottled water for infants and teachers who might be pregnant. They hope their new septic system will eventually eliminate the problem altogether.

Greenwood ISD tells NewsWest 9, they're working with a state inspector and will continuously treat the water pumped into the campuses.

All of the data was compiled from the Environmental Protection Agency between 1999 and last year.