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Water: School & Child Care Facilities

Guidance and Tools

New DVD

What Your School or Child Care Facility Should Know About Lead in Drinking Water (DVD) was released for ordering on April 30, 2007. See information below on ordering the DVD.


Case Study of School Program to Reduce Lead in Drinking Water Stoughton Public Schools
Stoughton, MA

The case study details who, what, why, when and how of the school district’s program. The Stoughton School District Case Study.

You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.

Schools and child care centers can find a wealth of information to assist them in their efforts to improve water quality in their facilities. EPA has published guidance on reducing lead in drinking water.

Some schools and child care facilities who meet the definition of a public water system are regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). If your facility regularly provides water for human consumption to an average of at least 25 individuals a day AND

  • you have your own water source (i.e., a well), OR
  • you treat the water, OR
  • you sell the water,

you meet the definition of a public water system and you must comply with the provisions of the SDWA. Your state drinking water program makes this designation.

Testing Schools and Child Care Centers for Lead in Drinking Water

3Ts Guidance and Toolkit


 

For SDWA Regulated Schools and Child Care Centers

These guidance documents provide information to school officials and child care providers on the regulatory requirements you must comply with as a regulated public water system.

Important Points About Testing

Lead Decision Tree

Testing Tips

  • Are you providing safe drinking water at your school?
    Among their many duties, schools are responsible for providing safe drinking water to students and staff. EPA's New England Office published a Brochure and Poster for schools. The brochure addresses drinking water issues for schools including lead in drinking water, source water protection, water conservation, cross-contamination, and security. The Tips are intended for schools that operate their own drinking water supply and highlights ways to protect their source from contamination.
  • Point-of-Use/Point-of-Entry Treatment Devices
    This document provides guidance on all aspects of implementing a successful Point-of-Use or Point-of-Entry treatment strategy.
  • Arsenic and your Distribution System
    EPA 816-F-07-005
    This fact sheet helps water system owners and operators understand and respond to issues that may arise with arsenic in the distribution system, or with distribution system concerns resulting from the installation of arsenic treatment.
  • Arsenic Case Studies
    • Michigan: Arsenic in Schools
      More than 100 schools in Michigan have their own groundwater supply and some of these supplies have arsenic levels greater than 10 ppb. These schools found cost effective, easy-to-implement solutions to their arsenic problems.
    • Seattle, WA: Arsenic in Public Schools
      Seattle Public Schools investigated arsenic levels in school drinking water after finding high levels at several new drinking water fountains. Monitoring results show that regular use of drinking water fountains and periodic flushing significantly reduce arsenic to safe levels.

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For Non-SDWA Regulated Schools and Child Care Centers

These guidance documents provide information to school officials and child care providers on how to implement voluntary programs and policies to ensure water quality in your facility.

  • newDrinking Water Best Management Practices For Schools and Child Care Facilities Served by Municipal Water Systems (PDF) (18 pp, 1MB)
    EPA 816-B-13-002 (April 2013)
    This guide describes the best management practices for drinking water in a school or child care facility: served by a public water system. The document details the importance of implementing best management practices of drinking water in a  school or child care facility and practices a school or child care facility can implement to reduce lead and bacteria in their facility, how to avoid cross contamination and water conservation tips.

Case Study of School Program to Reduce Lead in Drinking Water Stoughton Public Schools
Stoughton, MA

The case study details who, what, why, when and how of the school district’s program. The Stoughton School District Lead Prevention Case Study.

3Ts Guidance and Toolkit

3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools: Introduction (PDF) (2 pp, 178K)
EPA 816-B-05-009
This document provides an overview of the steps school officials should take to implement programs and policies to reduce children's exposure to lead in drinking water in schools. This serves as a companion document to the revised technical guidance.

3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools: Revised Technical Guidance - Revised Octber 27, 2006
EPA 816-B-05-008
EPA has developed the 3Ts (Training, Testing, and Telling) to help schools implement simple strategies for managing the health risks of lead in schools and drinking water.

3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Child Care Facilities: Revised Guidance (PDF) (28 pp, 930K)
EPA 816-R-05-009
This booklet is designed for small child care facilities to help them ensure the drinking water in their buildings does not contain elevated levels of lead.

3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools and Child Care Facilities Toolkit
EPA 816-E-5-006
The toolkit provides supplemental materials, such as templates, to assist schools and child care facilities in their efforts to develop programs and policies to reduce lead levels in drinking water.

 

How to Order

To order the DVD in the US:

Call the National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP) at: 1-800-490-9198 or check the NSCEP Web site.

For International Orders:

Call NSCEP at (301) 519-6640
or e-mail NSCEP (nscep@bps-lmit.com).

What Your School or Child Care Facility Should Know About Lead in Drinking Water (DVD)
EPA 816-C-06-004, November 2006 (Released April 2007)

The DVD is a visual approach to teaching school and child care administrators, parents and the public about the importance of testing for lead in drinking water in these facilities. 

The DVD highlights

  • the importance of setting up a lead testing program,
  • discusses the health effects associated with lead exposure,
  • takes the viewer on an animated tour of how drinking water enters a school or child care facility,
  • distinguishes between the benefits and challenges of starting a program,
  • and takes an in depth look at two case studies. 

The DVD also contains a second instructional video that teaches facility personnel or potential volunteers how to collect tap samples in a school or child care facility.

Water Quality Funding Sources for Schools: A Resource for K-12 Schools and Child Care Facilities
EPA 816-B-06-005, October 2006
The guide was developed to help schools and child care providers identify potential funding sources for water quality related projects. In addition to water quality projects, this guide can also be used to identify potential funding sources for a variety of programs related to children’s health and environment.

Is there Lead in the Drinking Water? You can reduce the risk of lead exposure from drinking water in educational facilities (PDF) (2 pp, 750K)
EPA 903-F-01-002, April 2002
A brochure on how to reduce the risk of lead exposure from drinking water in educational facilities.

You can order these documents through The National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP) (formerly NCEPI) A central repository of more than 7,000 EPA documents in paper and/or electronic format; available for free distribution.

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For Community Partners

3Ts – Training, Testing, and Telling: Join EPA’s effort to help minimize lead levels in school and child care facility drinking water - A Guide for Community Partners (PDF) (16 pp, 15MB)
EPA 816-K-06-006
This document is a companion piece to the 3Ts for Reducing Lead in School and Child Care Facilities Toolkit and guidance materials. The guide is a call for civic groups, corporations, public authorities, and the media to join forces in bringing this critical health issue to the forefront.

3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools and Child Care Facilities: Fact Sheet for Public Water Suppliers (PDF) (2 pp, 282K)
EPA 816-F-07-023
This fact sheets provides information for drinking water suppliers on options to provide assistance to schools and child care facilities to implement programs to reduce lead in drinking water.

Also visit the school's partners page for more information.

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Historical Documents for Reference

Lead in Drinking Water in Schools and Non-Residential Buildings (PDF) (98 pp, 4MB)
EPA 812-B-94-002, April 1994
The purpose of this manual is to demonstrate how drinking water in schools can be tested for lead and how contamination problems can be corrected if found. This manual is intended for use by officials responsible for the maintenance and/or safety of these facilities.

Sampling for Lead in Drinking Water in Nursery Schools and Day Care Facilities (PDF) (21 pp, 7MB)
EPA 812-B-94-003, April 1994
A companion document to "Lead in Drinking Water in Schools and Non-residential Buildings."

Lead Contamination Control Act (LCCA) (PDF) (4 pp, 862K)
EPA 570/9-89-AAA, July 1989
The purpose of this brochure is to provide an overview to the provisions of the LCCA.

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