Water Testing Results in Schools and Childcare Centers

Eliminating lead exposure is a critical goal of the Detroit Health Department and Detroit Public Schools Community District. Lead is a heavy metal than can poison young children who are exposed to it. By far, the most common source of exposure in Detroit is from paint in old homes. However, exposure can also occur from old piping that release it into the water in old buildings, even though Detroit city water supplies meet the highest standards of purity for lead.

Supported by a $135,000 grant from the Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation, the Detroit Health Department has worked with schools and early childhood facilities across the City to support testing water for elevated lead. This proactive testing helps ensure that Detroit children have a safe and healthy environment at school.

The Health Department provided funding to screen for lead content in three water outlets (e.g., drinking fountains, faucets, etc) in each building, including the kitchen sink and a high-use water fountain. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that lead water content must fall below 15 parts per billion (ppb). Facilities at or above the 15 ppb threshold in any of the three outlets tested were required to test all of their outlets, and a full analysis was conducted to identify the source of the contamination. Schools were then required to provide the Detroit Health Department with a plan to find and eliminate the source of the lead within 15 days.

A record of each schools’s results and fix plans are attached. Where there is no record for a school or daycare center, the school administration elected not to undergo testing.