School District drinking water is under the microscope as regulators are mandating testing for lead. Water is one of our most precious resources. While safe water is vital for public health, an important question to think about is how well we know our water. Do you know where your water comes from and how safe it is to drink? Are our children unknowingly drinking water tainted with lead? Here’s how you can find answers to these questions.
The Federal Water Quality Legislation
The aim of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), passed by Congress in 1974, was to protect our drinking water. In 1986 and 1996, amendments were added to the SDWA. Under the SDWA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the standards for drinking water quality. The EPA also monitors states, local authorities, and water suppliers who enforce these standards.
The National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWR) are standards and treatment techniques that public water systems must follow. These regulations limit the contaminant levels in drinking water and thus help in protecting public health.
Today the most crucial contaminant we must know about is lead. In 1991, EPA established the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) to reduce the exposure to lead and copper in drinking water. Under this rule, the maximum contaminant level goal (MCLG) for lead in drinking water is zero. You can read more about the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) summary and history here.
Harmful Effects of Lead Exposure
Lead and copper enter drinking water when the building’s plumbing pipes or fixtures corrode. Corrosion is a chemical reaction that wears away or dissolves metal from pipes or fixtures. Corrosion occurs when there is low or no water use, thus leading to high levels of lead and other metals in the building’s drinking water.
Lead is harmful to health, especially to children. Some adverse effects of lead exposure are learning and behavior problems, speech and hearing problems, damage to the nervous system and brain, etc. Since there is no safe level of lead exposure in children, it becomes critical to prevent childhood lead poisoning. (CDC, 2021)
How to Make Water Safe in Schools and Childcare Facilities
The pandemic caused schools and childcare facilities to remain closed. When water is stagnant inside building plumbing, it can become unsafe for drinking or domestic or commercial usage. This reduction in regular water use during school closures can create hazards for schools.
Sampling and laboratory testing are the only way to determine if lead is present in the school or child care facility’s drinking water. The Texas Commission for Environmental Quality (TCEQ) offers a free statewide program to reduce children’s exposure to lead in drinking water. TCEQ’s program is based on the 3 Ts – Training, Testing, and Taking Action. This program will help eligible participants conduct voluntary sampling and analysis for lead in drinking water at their school or childcare facility. (TCEQ)
While the program is under development, the enrollment period will start soon. Since spaces and funding for the program are limited, it’s best not to wait till the testing is mandated. Getting the lead testing process started early will be a massive help in making drinking water safe for our children in schools and child care facilities.
Your Next Steps
Lead is colorless and odorless, and the only way to know if the water has EPA-compliant water levels is professional testing at the tap. An experienced and reliable lead remediation company like TDT Plumbing is here to assist you. We can help you understand where and how lead is entering your water and give you a plan of action to solve this problem.
What TDT Plumbing Can Do to Help
TDT Plumbing is committed to helping you fight lead leaching. Clean water is what we do, and that’s why we’re considered ‘pipe forensic’ specialists. TDT Plumbing’s LeadSmart program uses a unique lead remediation process to create safe drinking water. It has revolutionized how tap water is tested for lead, so the water is safe to drink.
TDT Plumbing is Texas’ first LeadSmart Water Testing Provider, and this program is covered by over 40 U.S. and international patents. The EPA-approved LeadSmart program uses on-site water testing equipment and methods for testing lead in drinking water. It also helps to identify the lead contributors and offers a plan for corrective actions.
Helpful Safe Drinking Water Guide
TDT Plumbing has put together a guide on what you need to know about the SDWA. You can get a PDF copy of the guide by downloading it here: GET YOUR SDWA GUIDE HERE.
Call us at (713) 697-2088 to reach a trained TDT LeadSmart specialist or contact us to schedule your LeadSmart Water Testing. We’re happy to help!
CDC. “Reopening Buildings after Prolonged Shutdown or Reduced Operation.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22 July 2021,
TCEQ. “Voluntary Lead Testing in School and Child Care Drinking Water.” Texas Commission on Environmental Quality,