Why Test for Lead in Drinking Water
Unless you test for it, there’s no way of knowing if lead is in drinking water.
Children can come in contact with lead in many ways. Lead exposure poses a special risk to young children because they absorb lead into their systems more easily than adults do. Lead can slow down growth, impair development and learning, and can cause behavior problems.
While a major source of lead exposure in Vermont children is paint, lead in older plumbing and fixtures can add to a child’s overall lead exposure. Plus, water that sits in lead plumbing and fixtures when it's not being used likely contains higher levels of lead. This is why it's important to make sure lead levels in drinking water are as low as possible.
Vermont's Lead in Drinking Water Testing Law
To address these risks, Act 66 (2019) requires all Vermont school and licensed or registered child care providers to test their drinking and cooking water for lead according to the schedule in the rule. If lead is found at or above the action level of 4 parts per billion (ppb), the school or child care provider must immediately take the fixture out of service and take steps to eliminate or reduce the amount of lead to below 4 ppb.
Information for Schools and Child Care Providers
Ongoing testing is required. Taps at schools and child care facilities need to be tested every three years according to the schedule in the rule. To order lead in drinking water testing materials, please follow the step-by-step instructions below.
For child care providers: The instructions on this page are for lead in drinking water testing only. If you have a private drinking water source (drilled well, dug well or spring) and need to order test kits for inorganic chemicals and bacteria, review the child care regulations to see which tests are required or contact the licensor on duty at 800-649-2642 option 3 or AHS.DCFCDDChildCareLicensing@vermont.gov for more information. Then, order test kits from the Health Department Lab or another certified drinking water lab.