The Division of Drinking Water (DDW), in collaboration with the California Department of Education, has taken the initiative to begin testing for lead in drinking water at all public K-12 schools. In early 2017, DDW and Local Primacy Agencies issued amendments to the domestic water supply permits of approximately 1,200 community water systems so that schools that are served by a public water system could request assistance from their public water system to conduct water sampling for lead and receive technical assistance if an elevated lead sample is found. To further safeguard water quality in California’s K-12 public schools, California Assembly Bill 746 published on October 12, 2017, effective January 1, 2018, requires community water system to test lead levels, by July 1, 2019, in drinking water at all California public, K-12 school sites that were constructed before January 1, 2010. This webpage contains information on both the permit amendments and AB 746.


Boy Drinking Water

As of July 1, 2019, the Division of Drinking Water (DDW), in collaboration with the California Department of Education, has completed the initiative to test for lead in drinking water at all public K-12 schools. California Assembly Bill 746 (AB 746) published on October 12, 2017, effective January 1, 2018, required community water systems to test lead levels, by July 1, 2019, in drinking water at all California public, K-12 school sites that were constructed before January 1, 2010.

Prior to the passage of AB 746, in early 2017, the DDW and Local Primacy Agencies issued amendments to the domestic water supply permits of approximately 1,200 community water systems so that schools that are served by a public water system could request assistance from their public water system to conduct water sampling for lead and receive technical assistance if an elevated lead sample was found. These amendments allowed the private schools to continue to request sampling and assistance after the passage of AB 746.

This webpage contains information on both the permit amendments and AB 746.

UNDERSTANDING LEAD SAMPLING IN SCHOOLS


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  • WHY DID WE SAMPLE FOR LEAD IN SCHOOLS
    • Recent events in the United States have shown that lead in drinking water remains an on-going public health concern, particularly for children. Lead rarely occurs naturally in California's drinking water sources but may become present when water passes through older plumbing fixtures or solder containing lead that connects plumbing.

  • WHAT DID THE STATE DO TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM ELEVATED LEAD LEVELS IN DRINKING WATER?
    • In January 2017, the Division of Drinking Water (DDW) issued permit amendments to community public water systems serving K-12 schools requiring them to collect and analyze up to five water samples at each K-12 school that requested sampling. Once requested, the water system was required to sample within 90 days. To provide direction, DDW created many guidance documents as well as established a point of contact to answer questions relating to lead sampling in schools. The public water system and/or the State Water Resources Control Board also provided technical assistance if an elevated lead sample site was found.

      Subsequent to the issuance of these permits, AB 746 was passed and signed by the Governor on October 13, 2017. The Bill went into effect on January 1, 2018, requiring a community water system to test all public K-12 schools before July 1, 2019 based on specific criteria listed in the Bill.

  • WHAT IS THE CURRENT STATUS OF LEAD SAMPLING OF DRINKING WATER IN SCHOOLS?
    • Public water systems that serve a public school(s) with building(s) constructed prior to January 1, 2010, were required to be sampled by July 1, 2019. However, the Division of Drinking Water (DDW) encourages all schools to test for lead in their water supply, and may do so by requesting assistance from their water system, as a requirement of the 2017 Permit Amendment. If a school had lead testing under either the permit amendments or AB 746 sampling results can be view under the ‘Sampling Results’ tab.

  • MORE INFORMATION ABOUT LEAD
    • The Centers for Disease Control reports that lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body. Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to affect cognitive abilities, including IQ, the ability to pay attention, and academic achievement. The effects of lead exposure cannot be corrected; therefore it is important to prevent lead exposure entirely. Questions about health concerns related to blood lead levels should be directed to your local Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program which may be found on the list on the following website: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CCDPHP/
      DEODC/CLPPB/Pages/CLPPPIndex.aspx
      .

      If your jurisdiction does not have a local program, you may contact the California Department of Public Health, Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch, whose main webpage is: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/CLPPB/Pages/default.aspx.

 

 

FUNDING AVAILABLE – DRINKING WATER FOR SCHOOLS GRANT PROGRAM


Drinking Water for Schools logo

Although the Lead Sampling in Drinking Water in California Schools program has been implemented, financial assistance may be available to help schools address their recently discovered Lead Action Level Exceedances under this grant program. For more information, please visit the Drinking Water for Schools Grant Program webpage.


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