source water contamination or from lead and copper that can leach into water as it travels from municipal pipes to building taps, there are pockets throughout the United States where tap water may be unsafe. And children’s small bodies are more vulnerable to even small doses of contamination. The NDWA website offers an interactive map where you can view media reports of tap water contamination: www.drinkingwateralliance.org/map. NDWA allies are among those working at the federal, state, and local levels to ensure tap water safety. Our efforts are paying off in heightened awareness of the need for testing water at the tap and infrastructure improvements. In 2016, we saw the following developments:
provides funds for a grant program to improve access to safe water in schools. •
Massachusetts earmarked $2.5 million for testing at the tap in schools.
Oregon’s State Board of Education and Department of Public Health require schools to develop Healthy and Safe Schools Plans. Schools are not required by law to test for lead, but they are required to report how they are preventing lead exposure.
New York State became the first in the nation to legislate required testing at the tap in all public schools; testing is already underway. Rhode Island passed legislation requiring testing at the tap for lead in all public schools and all licensed childcare facilities, public clinics, shelters, foster homes, and treatment centers.
Thirty-eight federal bills were introduced that relate to lead in tap water.
A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) memo called for all regional offices and state agencies to ensure that children in National School Lunch Program (NSLP) schools and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) child-care homes and centers have access to safe drinking water at no charge. (To read that memo, visit: www.drinkingwateralliance.org/single-post/2016/07/22/ USDA-memo-issued-to-schools-regardingtap-water-safety.)
Following the American Academy of Pediatrics, Prevention of Childhood Lead Toxicity, recommendation that lead testing resulting in a reading of more than 1 part per billion (ppb) should be immediately remediated, the District of Columbia Department of General Services will move to incorporate a 1 ppb action level for lead tests on drinking water sources in District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) centers.
California Governor Jerry Brown (D) instructed the State Water Resource Control Board to develop a permit amendment requiring all community water systems to offer free testing for lead and copper in every school served by each system. Testing is anticipated to begin in 2017. The state’s budget also
Those efforts not only help to identify unsafe water conditions but also include requirements that schools clearly communicate the safety of their facility’s water to the families they serve. NDWA believes safety goes both ways: ensuring that water in the places where children spend their time is safe (through testing
NDWA works to ensure that all children in the United States can drink safe water in the places where they live, learn, and play.
More About NDWA NDWA offers its allies and the public many great resources, including the following: • serves as a clearinghouse for resources and toolkits for improving drinking water access and providing drinking water education and promotion • maintains an updated bibliography of the peer-reviewed research on drinking water access and consumption (www.drinkingwateralliance. org/research) • tracks legislation, educates decision makers, works to put Water in All Policies • connects partners across sectors and geographies to work together to make water “First for Thirst.” To learn more about NDWA, visit DrinkingWaterAlliance.org.
at the tap and remediation), and assuring the public (through publicizing testing results) that we know where the problems are and that, in the vast majority of places, tap water is safe.
How Might This Impact IBWA? Schools with unsafe tap water may need to provide students with bottled water at no charge to meet the water provisions in the Healthy, HungerFree Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA, JAN/FEB 2017