Free drinking water lead screening available for Arizona schools, child care facilities

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) is offering free lead screening of drinking water fixtures and faucets for Arizona schools and child care facilities as part of a nationwide program that was established by the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act of 2016, funded by the Environmental Protection Agency.

ADHS received about $1.4 million to assist Arizona schools to proactively detect lead in drinking water to ensure that schools are aware of potential plumbing problems. If lead is found in drinking water, ADHS will work with the school to find the best possible solutions to lower lead levels. 

This project is a continuation of previous water testing work completed by ADHS in licensed child care facilities, and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality in public schools. ADHS has not identified drinking water as a cause of a child’s elevated blood lead levels in Arizona.

The EPA has determined lead pipe and soldering may be a significant contributor to lead in drinking water nationally. Participation in this project is voluntary. 

Any Arizona public school or state-regulated child care facility is eligible to enroll and participate in this program. ADHS encourages all interested, eligible schools and child care facilities to enroll by filling out this survey

The ADHS Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program will provide guidance and training to facilities on how to collect their own samples. If screening levels are found above the action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb), our team will work with each facility to collect confirmatory samples, identify the best solution and help with locating resources for remediation. 

Many solutions are low-cost and easy to implement. ADHS started offering testing services to charter schools in 2021 and has now extended the project to include public schools and child care facilities. So far, ADHS has collected more than 2,000 drinking water samples from 221 charter schools from 12 counties, and helped nine schools protect their students by reducing lead in drinking water. 

Throughout the project, we’ll provide information and education to facilities, parents, and the community to help answer questions and promote lead poisoning prevention

For more information about the project, visit our Lead Testing in Drinking Water at Arizona Schools and Child Care Centers webpage

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