The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is collaborating with the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust to provide School Water Improvement Grants (SWIGs) to reduce lead in school drinking water. Grants are available to public and private elementary schools, early education facilities, and childcare centers to encourage these sites to test their drinking water and remediate detectable lead exceedances by installing filtered water bottle filling stations.
Eligible facilities must have completed water quality sampling and testing and entered the corresponding data to MassDEP’s Lead Contamination Control Act Program Management Tool. Schools may seek up to $3,000 per bottle filling station to procure and install eligible filling stations, to purchase filters and replacement filters, and to conduct post-installment testing.
The Trust uses Massachusetts State Revolving Funds to support the grants, including $5M in state-appropriated contract assistance and U.S. EPA-Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act Reduction in Lead Exposure Drinking Water Grants. The state is now on its second round of funding.
The state reports in its StoryMap that 312 facilities are participating in the program, 178 have completed participation, and 178 facilities are participating in the program in towns with environmental justice populations. See more information here and in the SWIG program description.