In September 2016, a state law went into effect that requires all public school districts to test water for lead. The law requires school districts to sample all water outlets currently or potentially used for drinking or cooking purposes in buildings that may be occupied by students and to submit those samples to a state-approved lab for analysis. Regulations call for testing to take place again in 2020 and every five years thereafter, unless the state Commissioner of Health requires testing sooner.
The state established an action level of 15 micrograms of lead per liter, typically referred to as “parts per billion (ppb).” If a sample from a water outlet exceeds this level, schools must take steps to prevent the use of the outlet for drinking or cooking purposes until it is remediated and followed-up testing confirms it is no longer above the action level.
School districts are required to report the results of all water testing to the state Department of Health, the state Education Department and the local health department, and to post the results – along with remediation plans, if required – on the official district website.