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 21, 2018

Undergraduate college students drink more water when it is clearly labeled and visible to them, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Iowa, the University of Wisconsin and Cornell University.

The study intervention added a small sign above the soda dispenser’s water button to increase visibility of the water dispenser. Researchers surveyed the students before and after the intervention, and conducted focus groups after to discuss students’ drinking habits and assess any changes in water consumption habits.

After the intervention, students drank water more frequently, and more students reported having chosen water for their meal. Clearly labeling the water’s location was successful in prompting students to drink more water.

The researchers also found that the location of the water button on the soda dispenser discouraged water consumption. Students reported choosing soda or other sugary drinks instead of water because they were readily available to them wh...

September 11, 2017

What are the health benefits of drinking water? How can we encourage water consumption at school? What do we need to consider in addressing school water quality? Find user-friendly answers to these questions—and many more—in a new trio of fact sheets. 

The University of California Nutrition Policy Institute created three new downloadable fact sheets on drinking water in school settings. The fact sheets are available now on the National Drinking Water Alliance website.

Healthy Hydration teaches the benefits of drinking water in place of sugar-sweetened beverages.

Effective Access to Water in Schools uses a visual to show nine ways water can be provided and promoted in a school cafeteria.

Drinking Water Safety in Schools graphically shows where lead can enter tap water in schools and provides an overview of steps to take to ensure tap water safety.

School administrators and staff, parents, local school boards and the broader school community will find helpful information about the im...

July 25, 2017

Alaska’s Play Every Day campaign shares new public education materials that feature local families and Alaska sports champions choosing to drink water or low-fat milk instead of sugary drinks. The nationally recognized campaign distributes free materials to motivate Alaskans to “Drink This” — water and low-fat milk — and “Not That” — sugary drinks. Sugary drinks are beverages that contain added sugar, which include sports and energy drinks, vitamin drinks, sweetened fruit drinks, powdered mixes, flavored teas and soda.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services launched Play Every Day in 2012 as a social marketing campaign that promotes positive health behaviors to help prevent and reduce childhood obesity and related health problems, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The campaign focuses on motivating Alaska families to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day and to reduce the number of sugary beverages they drink.

As a social marketing campaign...

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