School Drinking Water Program

This webpage offers recommendations for schools and child cares that receive water from a community water supplier. Although a community water supplier is required by the Michigan Safe Drinking Water regulations to deliver quality drinking water to a customer, building plumbing and fixture materials may change the quality within the building. And, because of the typical on and off water use patterns in a school, more opportunity exists for water stagnation and water quality problems. (Note: schools and child cares that produce their own supply of water are classified as noncommunity water suppliers and are required by law to meet the state regulations).

The EGLE School Drinking Water Program provides guidance and tools to assist administrators in the reduction of detrimental health risks in their building drinking water.

EGLE recommends that all schools and child cares develop a drinking water quality maintenance plan.

Drinking Water Quality in Schools During COVID-19

Restoring and maintaining water quality after extended shutdowns and transitional periods of lower numbers in schools are critical steps for protecting educators and students from exposure to potential waterborne health risks such as microbial contamination, lead, and disinfection byproducts. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) recommends the development of a drinking water quality maintenance plan to reduce detrimental health risks associated with low to no use of water.

EGLE Flushing Guidance

Additional supporting materials for restoring drinking water after an extended shutdown and developing a drinking water management plan:

Dedicated Drinking Water Stations

Touchless, filtered, water bottle filling stations can be an effective strategy for providing hands free drinking water while reducing lead from drinking water. With the challenging nature of school building use these days, many schools are beginning to rely on the touchless filling stations to limit contact surfaces and provide good quality healthy drinking water during times when building use is limited.

Drinking Water Filter Maintenance

Buildings that have drinking water filtration devices should replace the filter cartridges per the manufactures recommendations, or when there have been longer than normal periods of stagnation with no or low water usage. It is crucial that filters are replaced after the building has been properly flushed, and before the building is returned to normal use.

Free:  Lead Testing in Schools and Child Care Facility Program

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) received a federal grant for testing school and child care facility water for lead. The goal of this program is to reduce childhood lead exposure in schools and child care facilities.

The funding provides free of charge to the facility:
  • An assessment of the building plumbing
  • Sampling and testing of all drinking water and food preparation taps
  • Guidance and help with reducing the risk of lead in the water
  • Follow-up sampling and testing as needed
This is a voluntary, nonregulatory program. EGLE will assist in finding funds
or cost-effective actions to reduce the risk of lead in the facility.

The grant period is from July 2020 through September 2023

You do not have to apply for this grant. EGLE will send out an invitation to all eligible facilities. Eligibility is based on lead risk along with other factors. EGLE has sent the first round of invitations and will continue to send out invitations every quarter until the end of the grant.

If you are interested in the program and did not get an invitation, please contact EGLE for eligibility determination.

Contact Ms. Holly Gohlke, Environmental Quality Specialist, Lead and Copper Unit, Community Water Supply Section, Drinking Water and Environmental Health Division, at 517-220-1904 or GohlkeH@Michigan.gov for more information.

For School Administrators and Managers

Documents

Training

  • Stay tuned for future training opportunities!

Videos

Webinars

Other Resources:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services:

For Parents