Lead Testing in Schools and Child Care Programs Drinking Water Grant
Authorized and funded under the EPA’s Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, SC’s Lead Testing in Schools and Child Care Programs grant provides free water lead testing to schools and child care programs across the state. Participation in this program is voluntary and includes the prioritization of schools and facilities located in the state's opportunity zones, schools and facilities that serve younger children (Pre-K, K-5), and schools and facilities that are older and more likely to contain lead plumbing.
Many schools and child care facilities are served drinking water by a public water system. While these public water systems are required to be compliant with regulatory drinking water standards, many school and child care facilities have not had the water from their faucets sampled specifically for lead that can enter drinking water if a facility’s plumbing system has lead-containing components or pipes. This grant allows DHEC to test water from a school’s or child care provider’s faucets for lead at no cost to the facility.
- Enroll in the program via the Online Facility Survey
- Participate in a virtual facility walkthrough to determine drinking water consumption locations within the facility
- Visit by a professional water operator to site to collect water samples
- Analysis of samples by the DHEC Lab
- Receive sampling results and communications packet
Interactive Tool and Facility Survey
DHEC has developed an interactive tool to allow schools and child care facilities to enroll in the program. The tool also includes a geographic map that showcases WIIN Grant lead data results as they become available. Click here to access the interactive tool and facility survey.
The EPA determined program lead remediation level in drinking water samples is 0.015 milligrams per liter (mg/L), or 15 parts per billion (ppb). When a lead sample is detected at or above this level, we encourage schools and facilities to take immediate steps to address the source of lead to protect children and staff.
As sample results become available, the WIIN Grant Sample Results page will be updated.
EPA's 3Ts Guidance
EPA's 3Ts - Training, Testing, and Taking Action - provides tools for schools, child care facilities, states, and water systems to implement voluntary testing programs for lead in drinking water.
DHEC is using EPA’s 3Ts guidance as a model to: (1) Train on the risks of lead in drinking water and testing for lead, as well as developing key partnerships to support the program; (2) Test using appropriate testing protocols and a certified laboratory; and (3) Take Action, including the development of a plan for responding to results of testing conducted and addressing potential elevated lead where necessary.
Additional Resources on EPA's 3Ts:
- 3Ts Manual
- 3Ts Checklist
- 3Ts for Public Water Systems
- 3Ts for Child Care Facilities
- 3Ts for Tribal Schools
- Lead Water Coolers Banned in 1988
- Taking Action: EPA's Recommended Remediation Options
- Ensuring Drinking Water Quality in Child Care Facilities During and After Extended Closures
- Ensuring Drinking Water Quality in Schools During and After Extended Closures
- Lead & Drinking Water
- Drinking Water Quality
- Concerns with Drinking Water
- Protecting Your Drinking Water
- Look Out for Lead - (pdf)
- Look Out for Lead: How can I find out if there is lead in my home? (pdf)
- Common Water Quality Problems and Their Treatment (pdf)
- Demographic Risk Factors Associated with Blood Lead Levels in South Carolina Children (2010-2014) (pdf)
- CDC: Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention
- EPA: Lead
- EPA: Lead in Drinking Water in Schools and Childcare Facilities
- EPA: Parent Letter Template
- EPA: Drinking Water Activities for Students and Teachers
- EPA: Drinking Water & Ground Water Kids' Stuff
- EPA: Taking Action - Remediation and Routine Practices
- MUSC: Dr. Routt Reigart discusses assessing exposure to lead in children's health.