A Progress Report on Efforts to Address Lead by Public School Districts

Sanborn, L. H.; Carpenter, A. T.

Journal – American Water Works Association, 110 (3):E18-E33; 10.1002/awwa.1022 2018


Media reports in 2016 brought lead contamination of drinking water to public attention, particularly at schools where young students can be exposed to lead by drinking at contaminated outlets. In an effort to assess nationwide progress on addressing this potential health risk, this study sought to determine the status of lead testing, remediation, and long‐term management strategies in public school districts serving the nation’s 15 most populous urbanized areas. Data were collected from publicly available information and through direct interaction with school districts. All districts under consideration have implemented some form of US Environmental Protection Agency‐recommended lead testing program, and districts with elevated lead levels have performed corrective actions including flushing, outlet repairs/replacement, and filtration. This study outlines districts’ testing programs, approaches to lead‐management, plans for continued monitoring, communication strategies, and self‐assessed successes and challenges.


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