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Water Boards: Financial Assistance Programs - Grants and Loans

Drinking Water For Schools Grant Program

Drinking Water for Schools

The Drinking Water For Schools Grant Program will provide $9.5 million in funding to improve access to, and the quality of, drinking water in public schools pursuant to Senate Bill 828.

To receive information on the program as it is developed, please sign up on our email list under contact information below.

Please refer to these Guidelines for important information about the grant program.


NEW! Application Deadline for the Drinking Water for Schools Grant Program is March 1, 2019.

NEW! List of Eligible School Districts - Individual schools may still be eligible if the District does not qualify for the program.

List of Preliminary Award Projects (This list will be updated approximately monthly. Last updated 01/17/19)

Press Release: State Water Board Accepting Applications to Fund Drinking Water Projects at Schools

Proposal Solicitation Notice: The Drinking Water for Schools Grant Program is now accepting applications! Please follow instructions under How to Apply

The Technical Assistance Form has been uploaded. Please see below.

Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) and its partners hosted workshops in Sacramento and San Diego, Chico and Visalia, California. The workshops provided information about the program, the application process, availability of technical assistance, and an opportunity to ask questions.

The San Diego workshop was recorded and may be viewed by clicking here.


Please refer to these Guidelines for important information about the grant program.

Applications to the grant program are submitted using the Financial Assistance Application Submittal Tool (FAAST). The solicitation in FAAST consists of multiple tabs with text boxes, pull down menus, and multiple-choice selections. Applicants will also provide additional information by uploading documents on the Attachments tab.

Eligible applicants should follow the steps below to submit:

Navigate to FAAST website: http://faast.waterboards.ca.gov/
Create user account (if this is the first time using FAAST)
Log on by entering your username and password
Click on Start a New Application
Read and check boxes for the System Disclosures
Select appropriate applicant organization
Choose the Drinking Water for Schools Grant Program (RFP)
Fill out the following tabs: General Information, Project Management, Contacts, Application Questionnaire and Funding
Click on the Attachments tab and upload the documents described in the Application Attachment Instructions
Submit application

The following FAAST resources are available online:

If you need assistance, please contact the FAAST Help Desk between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, at 1-866-434-1083 or FAAST_ADMIN@waterboards.ca.gov. All emails should include the subject line "Drinking Water for Schools" and the FAAST Proposal Identification Number (PIN) if known.


Funding Application - Sample Only

Application Attachments Instructions

Guidance for Median Household Income and Population Determination - ATTACHMENT 3C and 3D



ATTACHMENT 4D - DESCRIPTION OF WATER SYSTEM (for water quality projects)





Grant Agreement Template


Senate Bill 826 (Stats. 2016, ch.23) made $500,000 in funding available for technical assistance to eligible applicants. Technical assistance includes, but is not limited to, the following activities:
a) Assistance with identifying low-cost, sustainable solutions to providing access to safe drinking water.

b) Assistance with evaluating contamination levels of specific contaminants using existing data and information.

c) Assistance with completion and submittal of the Drinking Water for Schools Grant Program funding application.

d) Assistance with procuring necessary engineering and other contracting services necessary for completion of eligible projects.

e) Reviewing or developing project alternatives, and assistance with identifying cost-effective solutions that result in high effectiveness.

Assistance with submitting applications and devising technical solutions may be available for applicants with projects that serve students from disadvantaged communities (see Guidelines). Applicants requesting technical assistance should download and complete the TA Request Form and email it to DFA-TArequest@waterboards.ca.gov.


Senate Bill 828, in part, added Section 116276 to the Health and Safety Code. It requires that the State Water Board establish a program to award grants to local educational agencies for the purpose of improving access to, and the quality of drinking water in public schools. The program gives priority to:

  • Projects for schools within, or serving pupils from, a small disadvantaged community, as defined in Section 13193.9 of the Water Code.
  • Projects that have high effectiveness in increasing access to safe drinking water at schools.

Eligible projects shall include, but are not limited to, funding for the following:

  • Installation or replacement of water bottle filling stations or drinking water fountains with or without treatment devices capable of removing contaminants present in the school's water supply;
  • Installation of point-of-entry (POE), or point-of-use (POU) treatment devices for water bottle filling stations, drinking fountains, and other fixtures that provide water for human consumption, including up to three years of: replacement filters, operation and maintenance (O&M), and monitoring of POE or POU devices;
  • Installation, replacement, or repairs of drinking water fixtures and associated plumbing appurtenances that are necessary to address lead contamination identified by a school's public water system pursuant to the Lead Sampling of Drinking Water in California Schools program and that requires a corrective action; and
  • Provision of interim alternative water supplies for applicants in the process of implementing a permanent solution, including purchases of temporary transfer water, hauled water, and bottled water.
On May 16, 2017, in Resolution No. 2017-0032 the State Water Board adopted the Drinking Water For Schools Grant Program Guidelines. These Guidelines establish the process and criteria that the State Water Board will use to solicit applications, evaluate then select proposals, and award grants.

SB 828 also requires that the State Water Board provide technical assistance to applicants, including completing applications, overseeing installations, and assisting with operation and maintenance.


The State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water, in collaboration with the California Department of Education, has taken the initiative to begin testing drinking water in schools (K-12) for lead. Schools that are served by a municipality, water district, mutual water company, or other public water system may request assistance from their public water system to conduct water sampling for lead and to provide technical assistance if an elevated lead sample site is found. Information regarding the program is available on the website: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/drinking_water/certlic/drinkingwater/leadsamplinginschools.shtml


Eligible Applicants: Local educational agencies serving K-12, and pre-school and child day care facilities, located on public school property.
Eligible Project Types: See Overview
Funding Available: $9.5 million for grants; $500,000 for technical assistance
See List of Preliminary Award Projects for funding committed
Funding Source: General Fund
Loans or Grants: Grants


Program Milestones Dates
Release of draft Guidelines for review March 10, 2017 (Completed)
Guidelines Adoption May 16, 2017 (Completed)
Selection of Technical Assistance Provider May 16, 2017 (Completed)
Technical Assistance Provider Under Contract June 2017 (Completed)
Open Solicitation-Small DAC Only End of September 2017 (Completed)
All Eligible LEA’s may apply July 1, 2018
Application Deadline March 1, 2019
Deadline to Encumber Requested Funds June 30, 2019
Deadline to Expend Awarded Funds March 31, 2021
Funding Appropriation End Date June 30, 2021


Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF)

Cleanup and Abatement Account (CAA)


Kim Hanagan, P.E.
Senior Water Resources Control Engineer, Program Manager
(916) 323-0624

Ravi Jawanda, Water Resources Control Engineer
(916) 341-5865

Division of Financial Assistance
Drinking Water For Schools Grant Program
1001 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

letter  Sign up for the Drinking Water for Schools email list ("Financial Assistance"; section) to receive updates on this program as it is developed