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Lead Sampling in Schools

In January 2017, EPA released a letter to the State Superintendents in which they recommend testing for lead/copper in schools serviced by a public water system. Schools are not currently considered as testing sites for lead and copper in public water systems.

To this end, the Bureau of Epidemiology at the Department of Health (DOH) has partnered with the Division of Drinking Water to address the occurrence of lead in Utah schools and to provide guidance for institutions that plan to implement a sampling program. The Department of Health has responded to the State Superintendent and to all Utah school districts and distributed guidance on testing.

Sampling for lead and copper is not currently required of schools which are served by a public water system. There is no safe level of lead in drinking water, and as such the EPA, the Utah Department of Health and the Division of Drinking Water encourage school districts to conduct voluntary sampling at their schools. This is voluntary sampling that cannot be used for compliance with the Drinking Water Lead and Copper Rule for public water systems.

Additionally, The EPA has released recommendations to schools in their 3T's for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools booklet. The 3T's are Training, Testing, and Telling.

Training

Training school officials to raise awareness of the potential occurrences, causes, and health effects of lead in drinking water; assist school officials in identifying potential areas where elevated lead may occur; and establishing a testing plan to identify and prioritize testing sites.

Testing

Testing drinking water in schools to identify potential problems and take corrective actions as necessary.

Telling

Telling students, parents, staff, and the larger community about monitoring programs, potential risks, the results of testing, and remediation actions.

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