A new law that went into effect in California in January requires that schools have their drinking water tested for lead contamination by July of 2019. Schools built after 2010, private schools and those already required to test their drinking water are exempt.
Lead poses a health risk for children and vulnerable adults such as pregnant women, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) even low levels of lead in the blood have been shown to affect cognitive abilities, the ability to pay attention, and academic achievement.
The new law requires schools to test up to five water sources, not a thorough examination when lead contamination can vary widely from water fixture to water fixture. Water outlets with lead levels over 15 parts per billion must be shut down or repaired. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there is no safe level of exposure to lead.
For information on how your school can request free lead testing, please see this flier. Requests must be received before November 1, 2019.
EdSource Flier: Lead in California School Water: What You Need To Know
Interactive Map: Sampling Results for Schools Tested for Lead
EdSource Special Report: Tainted Taps: Lead Puts California Students at Risk