The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is proactively conducting a statewide screening program for the presence of lead in school drinking water in coordination with multiple state and local agencies, public water systems, and public schools. The purpose of this proactive screening program is to identify whether school drinking water contains lead levels of concern for children, so that school districts can take appropriate actions in response to any identified concerns.
ADEQ is funding this six-month, fast-track screening program in an effort to collect and test 14,000 drinking water samples from 7,000 school buildings statewide. ADEQ will provide all samplers with a toolkit including sample instructions, collection containers, and prepaid shipping boxes to mail the samples to contracted laboratories for testing at no cost to schools.
The department notes that lead contamination may be present in school drinking water even when a school’s water provider is in compliance with the federal lead drinking water standard of 15 parts of lead per billion parts of water (15 ppb).
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