Lead in Drinking Water Testing
On December 13, 2022, the Delaware Department of Education announced that it has contracted with a private firm, Batta Environmental Associates, to conduct lead testing at every water consumption point in every public school in the state. (See official press release below.) Testing began the week of December 19, 2022 and will continue for the next three to six months. Test results and any necessary mitigation efforts will be posted to this page as they become available.
IRSD’s official statement (Dec. 13, 2022):
“We are pleased that the State of Delaware has formulated a coordinated testing plan for the presence of lead in drinking water in public schools. We will cooperate fully with the state and the contracted testing laboratory to have consumption sources tested in our schools. Test results, along with any necessary remediation measures, will be communicated to families and the public in a timely manner as they are received. The health and safety of students and staff is our top priority and we are fully committed to providing safe drinking water in our schools.”
To view test results, click on the documents below.
Official Delaware Department of Education press release (Dec. 13, 2022):
DELAWARE CONTRACTS WITH PRIVATE FIRM TO TEST SCHOOL DRINKING WATER
The Delaware Department of Education (DOE) has contracted with a private firm to test the drinking water at schools across the state.
The State of Delaware is actively working with federal and local partners to ensure all Delaware children and school staff have safe and clean drinking water. With the support of a grant from the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), DOE with support from the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) began a sampling initiative in Delaware schools in October 2020 to identify the levels of lead within the drinking water system.
The state identified some mistakes in its initial lead sampling, including testing buildings during COVID-19 closures and testing non-consumption sources, and the need to better communicate testing results.
Batta Environmental Associates, Inc., a Newark-based environmental consultant, will retest all fixtures that initially tested at 7.5 ppb or higher and all consumption points at schools statewide.
“It is critically important that we conduct additional water sampling that provides timely and accurate data regarding the quality of water that our students, staff, and school communities consume. This is also an important step to help restore confidence for the public. We want our children, their families and our educators and staff to be able to concentrate on learning, assured that their buildings and water are safe,” Secretary of Education Mark Holodick said.
Resampling and retesting will start next week and will take about three months to complete. Results will be shared with the respective superintendents and charter leaders as they are received from the lab, and districts/charters will share results and any next steps with their respective communities. Results and updates also will be posted on de.gov/schoolwater.
Currently, all fixtures that tested at or above 7.5 ppb were either turned off or had signage that noted the water was not for consumption, as confirmed by school representatives and state survey teams. Next steps on fixture usage and remediation will be determined based on the retesting results. The signage will remain on those fixtures until schools receive additional information from the Department of Education or Division of Public Health.
Learn more about the state’s school water testing program at de.gov/schoolwater.