News Releases

Testing for lead in schools should be top priority over summer
Resources and options available to treat water and keep children safe

LISLE, Illinois – The Water Quality Association today recommended that as students begin their summer vacation, school districts should take the opportunity to test their drinking water supplies for lead. Studies and media reports over the past school year indicate lead exposure is an ongoing concern across the country, primarily due to corrosion from aging infrastructure.

“Many more states are requiring schools to test their drinking water,” said WQA Executive Director Pauli Undesser. “We believe schools can take advantage of the summer months to conduct thorough tests in accordance with their state’s laws or guidelines and determine if specific water treatment is required. It should be a top priority.”

The lead crisis in Flint, MI, last year brought nationwide attention to the lead issue in public water supplies. Children are especially at risk since lead exposure results in reduced cognitive development and neurobehavioral deficits. (More information on lead is available at the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) website:

“As long as concerns about lead in drinking water persist, we’re reminding authorities to take the appropriate steps to safeguard children and residents,” Undesser said. “Water can meet acceptable standards when it leaves a municipal water treatment facility, but can become exposed to a variety of contaminants as it makes its way to schools, businesses and homes.”

Selection of a drinking water treatment device or system for health contaminant reduction should be made only after careful investigation of its performance capabilities based on test results from a certified lab. WQA recommends treatment products that have been certified. Visit WQA’s product certification listings to search WQA’s database of certified products. Water treatment professionals can be found using WQA's Find Water Treatment Providers tool.

WQA is a not-for-profit trade association representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. Since 1959, the WQA Gold Seal certification program has been certifying products that contribute to the safe consumption of water. The WQA Gold Seal program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).

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