Lead Testing of Drinking Water in Schools and Child Care Facilities 2019-20

toddler drinking water from glass

Many Vermont schools and childcare facilities are in older buildings, which means they are more likely to have lead in their plumbing. Because there is no safe level of lead in the body, and young children absorb lead into their systems more easily than adults do, it's important to ensure lead levels in drinking water are as low as possible. Fixing a lead in drinking water problem is often easy and low cost. Solutions can include replacing plumbing fixtures, removing redundant or seldom-used fixtures, and encouraging the use of centrally located, well-maintained bottle fill stations.

The Health Department, Agency of Natural Resources and the Agency of Education led a joint project from November 2017 to March 2018 to gather information about lead levels in Vermont schools. This project provided a small number of schools with the opportunity to receive one-on-one assistance and save money during the testing process. The Health Department offered testing supplies, analysis and follow-up testing free of charge to participating schools. If lead was found in drinking water, state agencies and drinking water experts worked with schools to find the best possible solution to lower lead levels. Read the report

Building on the pilot project, Act 66, passed in 2019, requires all Vermont school districts, supervisory unions, independent schools and child care providers to test their drinking and cooking water for lead. If lead is found in an amount at or above the action level of 4 parts per billion (ppb), the school or child care provider must immediately take the fixture out of service and take corrective action to eliminate or reduce the amount of lead to below the action level. The Health Department has been charged with helping schools and child care providers with the testing process, providing water test materials, guidance and support. The project runs through December 2020.

how the lead testing process works

Lead Testing in Drinking Water in Schools — Information for Parents, Guardians and Staff
Lead Testing in Drinking Water in Child Care Settings — Information for Parents, Guardians and Staff

go to the lead in drinking water results website