Lead in Drinking Water - Information for Schools and Day Cares
Information for Schools and Day Care Centers
Exposure to lead is a significant health concern, especially for young children and infants whose growing bodies tend to absorb
more lead than the average adult. Drinking water is one possible source
of lead exposure. Infants whose diets consist mainly of liquid can get
40 - 60% of their lead exposure from water. Some drinking water pipes,
taps, solder and other plumbing components contain lead. Lead in the
plumbing may leach into water and pose a health risk when consumed.
Testing water in schools and day care facilities is important because
children spend a significant portion of their days in these facilities,
and likely consume water while there. The longer water remains in
contact with leaded plumbing, the more opportunity exists for lead to
leach into water. As a result, facilities with on again/off again water
use patterns, such as schools and day care facilities, may have elevated
lead concentrations in the water. EPA recommends that action be taken
at a specific outlet when the lead concentration is elevated.
Lead comes from the plumbing.
Even though water delivered from the community's public water supply
must meet EPA standards for lead, a building may still have too much
lead in the drinking water because of lead and lead-containing plumbing
materials and water use patterns. Testing the water at each outlet is
the only sure way to find out if the water contains too much lead.
Testing for lead at a school or day care.
EPA strongly encourages schools and day care facilities to test the
water for lead, particularly if food, drinks, and/or formula are
prepared on-site. Each outlet should be tested separately for lead.
*For more information on testing, including guidance for developing a sampling program and information on remedies, click here to go to EPA's web site.
The PA Department of Education (PDE) has also created a web site to provide information about lead testing in schools, Click here to go to PDE's web site.