October 4, 2018

To assist schools and child care facilities in ensuring the safety of their drinking water, the Environmental Protection Agency has released an updated 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water toolkit.

The online toolkit is organized into seven modules and includes customizable templates, and checklists and other tools to help schools and child care facilities to develop and implement a lead testing program. EPA is hosting a webinar on October 25 to introduce the new toolkit. Click here to register.

Additional toolkit features:

July 27, 2018

A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigates current school practices for lead testing and remediation in drinking water.

In the GAO’s stratified, random sample of 549 school districts in the U.S., 43% of districts surveyed indicated they had tested for lead in school drinking water. Of the school districts that tested, 37% found elevated lead levels. School districts undertook a variety of actions to remediate lead in school drinking water, including replacing fixtures, permanently removing fixtures from service, flushing and installing filters.

The report also details existing state-level efforts to require schools to test for lead in drinking water or provide school districts with funding or other support for testing and remediation. The GAO looked at existing guidance from the EPA and how familiar school districts around the country are with these guidelines.

The report detailed seven recommendations for the federal government, including providing...

June 25, 2018

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) worked with 11 child care facilities in four states (IL, MI, MS, OH) in a pilot that went in-depth on methods to test for and to remediate elevated lead levels in water in these settings. The report includes a clear description of the concerns and considerations surrounding lead exposure in child care facilities, as well as remediation techniques. Click to read the full report, “Putting children first: Tackling lead in water at child care facilities."

EDF used an action level of 3.8 ppb, consistent with their earlier work examining health-based standards for lead in drinking water. They tested over 1,500 water samples through analysis by a certified lab, including before and after remediation techniques. They also evaluated two portable testing meters.

Key Results

  • More than three out of four water samples had lead levels below 1 ppb. However, seven of 11 child care facilities had at least one drinking water fixture sample above their action le...

Discusses the importance of providing access to safe, quality drinking water in schools; the current state of tap water in schools; and what steps can be taken to improve drinking water quality and encourage healthy hydration habits.

May 21, 2018

The FY18 Omnibus spending bill passed in Congress on March 26 included $20 million for a voluntary program to test school and childcare drinking water for lead. These funds were authorized by Section 2107 in the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act of 2016 (Public Law 114-322). WIIN, sponsored by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), was enacted Dec. 11, 2016 and signed by President Obama on Dec. 16, 2016.  

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the administering agency. EPA will make grants available to states or to local educational agencies (LEAs) to assist LEAs in voluntary testing for elevated lead levels in drinking water in schools and child care programs that are under LEA jurisdiction. Testing will be required to meet EPA guidance, or state guidance if it is more stringent, and LEAs are to make results public.

The FY18 Omnibus funded two additional water infrastructure improvement grant programs:

  • $20 million to begin a grant program...

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