Lead and Copper in School Drinking Water Sampling Results

Summary and detailed lead and copper in drinking water data in school drinking water

In a continued effort to ensure safe drinking water in schools in Massachusetts, on April 26, 2016, Governor Charlie Baker and State Treasurer Deb Goldberg announced that $2 million from the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust (MCWT) would fund cooperative efforts to help Massachusetts public schools test for lead and copper in drinking water. Under the “Assistance Program for Lead in School Drinking Water”, MassDEP provides technical assistance to ensure that public school districts can sample the taps and water fountains in their schools and identify any results that show lead and copper contamination over the action level.

The Action Level for lead in drinking water is 0.015 milligrams per liter (mg/L) or 15 parts per billion (ppb), and the Action Level for copper is 1.3 mg/L or 1.3 parts per million (ppm). The water supplied to schools is generally well below the Massachusetts lead and copper Action Levels, but lead can be in drinking water due to lead pipes, solder, or old fixtures. Most lead exposure in Massachusetts results from lead paint dust and chips, but lead and copper in drinking water is a concern because infants, young children, and pregnant women are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of lead and copper exposure.

Parties interested in other historical lead and copper data should contact the school district or school directly. To contact your school department directly to learn about your school's program to address lead and copper in drinking water, find your school contact information via the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) website at http://profiles.doe.mass.edu.


Sampling Results

MassDEP has compiled the lead and copper sampling result data reported through our electronic data reporting system, or eDEP. The spreadsheet below shows the detailed information gathered from eDEP and the remediation action data reported through MassDEP’s Lead and Copper School Reporting Tool. The summary table that follows lists each school with sampling results and summarizes those results.

The LCCA Sampling Results spreadsheet is updated on a weekly basis with sampling results from eDEP and remediation actions reported via MassDEP’s Lead and Copper School Reporting Tool. To use the spreadsheet, users should open the “Results” tab located at the bottom left-hand side of the page. (When you open the spreadsheet, you may see a warning message from Microsoft Excel at the top of the screen. Click the “enable editing” button on the right to enable the full functionality of the spreadsheet.) To filter the columns on the spreadsheet, click on the dropdown button located at the right of each of the column headers, for example: NAME. The names of current participating schools will be shown and users can choose what school location and information they want to see. Results above the action level for lead and copper are highlighted in red and any reported remediation actions taken at those fixtures are listed in column K.

The Summary Results of Recent Lead and Copper Drinking Water Testing at Massachusetts Schools document summarizes sampling results for schools around the state. It reflects results that have been reported to MassDEP through its electronic data reporting system (eDEP). The summary includes schools sampled under the Commonwealth’s Assistance Program for Lead in School Drinking Water as well as via other efforts. Schools not listed have either not yet been tested or the results are still pending.

The sampling results and summary data comes from one or more of the following sources:

For the detailed LCCA Sampling Results and the Summary Results, data is made available to the public two weeks after sampling results are submitted to MassDEP through eDEP. This allows schools and EECFs time to conduct communications and outreach to students, families, staff and other local stakeholders. This also allows schools and EECFs time to post all remediation actions taken at fixtures with lead and/or copper action level exceedances in the Lead and Copper Reporting Tool. In some instances, individual school / EECF sample results data reported to eDEP may be delayed or not complete for a number of reasons. These delays may result in the complete data set for each school taking more than two weeks to be available online. Also, these results may not reflect all samples taken at each school or EECF because the laboratory may not have completed its work and/or the school may collect additional samples. Check back for updates that cover any additional results.  A school's status may change as additional results are reported to MassDEP. Only sample results data submitted through eDEP is available in the sample results section of the spreadsheet.

Schools and EECFs may have taken actions to address lead and copper which are not shown on the LCCA Sampling Results spreadsheet. Schools and EECF that are not currently using eDEP and/or the Lead and Copper School Reporting Tool are encouraged to contact the MassDEP Drinking Water Program at program.director-dwp@state.ma.us or 617-292-5770 to get access to these online reporting applications.

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