Lead Testing in Schools and Child Care Programs

children at school holding hands

Beginning July 01, 2023 the Department will no longer be sampling for the WIIN Lead Grant while we work to extend our federal grant funding. Anticipated sampling re-start is late fall 2023.

If you would like to be notified of sampling re-start, please email Caleb Snelling at snellica@dhec.sc.gov

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.

Sample Results

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. To search for your facility, utilize the "Ctrl + F" feature within the Results page.

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:

DHEC Resources

Other Resources