Help with lead testing at schools
The Vermont Department of Health, in partnership with the agencies of education and natural resources, is launching a pilot project designed to encourage schools to test drinking water for lead at each tap used for drinking or cooking, and take actions to lower lead levels.
Over the next few months, Health Department and Department of Environmental Conservation staff will visit each school and work with its facility team to inventory and test taps used for drinking and cooking.
“We are committed to making sure all Vermonters have access to clean and safe drinking water.” Ms. Moore explained that any tap that tests over the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) action level for lead in public drinking water systems will be taken out of use, and state agencies will work with each school to identify fixes and re-test to make sure lead levels have been reduced.
Schools that have their own drinking water source, such as a well, already test their water for lead in accordance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
“Lead poisoning is a serious but preventable health problem, with children and pregnant women at greatest risk,” said Deputy Health Commissioner Tracy Dolan.
“This is an opportunity to help schools test their water, identify problems, and take often easy and low cost steps to reduce lead exposure.” EPA set the action level for lead in public drinking water at 15 parts per billion (ppb).
Because there is no safe level of lead, the Health Department encourages schools to reduce lead levels in drinking water as much as possible.
In 2016, more than 600 Vermont children under the age of six were found to have lead poisoning.
Learn more about lead in school drinking water at healthvermont.gov/environment/school/lead-school-drinking-water.
— from the Vermont Health Department.