School Drinking Water Program
All children need access to healthy water. Michigan children spend a significant portion of their day in school or child care facilities and quality drinking water is critical to a child’s overall health, development and performance.
Many schools and child care facilities receive water from a community water system and that supplier is required to meet federal and state drinking water quality; however, lead can still leach into a school’s drinking water from plumbing materials and fixtures within the school building and move through the school’s water distribution system. And, because of the on again/off again water use patterns in a school, more opportunity exists for water stagnation and lead to leach into the water. The only way to determine if there is lead in the water is to test it.
While sampling for lead or other possible drinking water contaminants is not currently required for schools served by a community water system, EGLE is has taken the initiative to provide guidance and tools regarding communication, plumbing assessments, sampling plans and collection, interpretation of results, risk reduction actions, and water moving programs for school personnel.
For School Administrators and Managers
Flushing Guidance Memo to Schools During Executive Order 2020-35
Guidance on Flushing Your School Plumbing System Before Resuming Class: information concerning the risks of water stagnation and where to find more information to help maintain the quality of drinking water within your facilities.
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 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.
- Flushing guidance:
- School Building Flushing Best Practices (Fresh Tap Method)
- Pre-Flushing Event Guidance for School Plumbing--How to Determine Flushing Zones
- EGLE Guidance for Flushing School Plumbing
- EPA 3Ts Flushing Best Practices
- Healthy Kids Healthy Water Poster - Tips
- Healthy Kids Healthy Water Poster - Count to 30
- 10 Basic Steps to School Water Testing: ten steps to investigate and develop a plan to ensure quality drinking water in your buildings. A printable guide: 10 Basic Steps to School Water Testing (PDF).
- We are currently working on revising our Michigan sampling guidance, and until completed we recommend that schools refer to the U.S. EPA's 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools and Child Care Facilities
- You may find this 3Ts checklist handy: Establishing a Lead Testing Program (PDF)
- How to Identify Lead Free Certification Marks for Drinking Water System & Plumbing Products (PDF)
- Stay tuned for future training opportunities!
- Introduction to the Michigan School Water Training Program webinar - July 25, 2018 [PowerPoint Handout]
- MI School Water Training Program: Know Your Plumbing System and How to Develop an Investigative Drinking Water Sampling Plan - 8/21/18 [PowerPoint Handout]
- MI School Water Training Program: Investigative Sampling for Lead and Copper - (recorded 8/28/18, 60 min) [PowerPoint Handout]
- MI School Water Training Program: Providing Quality Drinking Water - (recorded 9/19/2018, 60 min) [PowerPoint Handout]
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:
- Drinking Water Training
- Lead in Drinking Water in Schools and Childcare Facilities
- 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools and Child Care Facilities
- Drinking Water Requirements for States and Public Water Systems
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services: