Updated February 24, 2017
Across the U.S., many cities, and more specifically, school districts have begun water quality testing following concerns of elevated lead concentrations in consumable drinking sources. The Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD) tested water at all of its instructional campuses. The district began sampling for lead and copper on October 1, 2016.
To date, results revealed 12 campuses with elevated levels of either lead, or copper, or both. The identified campuses with elevated levels were:
When the established EPA maximum contaminant level (MCL), which is also the “action level”, is exceeded, Dallas ISD is required to initiate some effort to produce a concentration that is less than the action level.
The initial action taken was more comprehensive sampling (i.e. first and second draw). Results from this action returned concentrations less than the MCL for nine of the twelve campuses, as a result, no further action was taken at that time.
The remaining three campuses that still had concentrations greater than the MCL required additional corrective action. The three corrective actions include: (1) replacing existing filters for units equipped with a filtration system; (2) where feasible, retrofitting units with a filtration system; and in the absence of an existing filtration system or retrofitting is not feasible, (3) unit replacement. Campuses locations requiring corrective action were resampled to determine the effectiveness of the action. Following this approach, acceptable levels have been achieved at 11 of the 12 campuses. The corrective action is currently in progress at the remaining campus.
Additional information, details, and campus specific results can be accessed on this page under the Water Testing Results tab. If you have questions, or would like to receive more information regarding results at your child’s campus, please contact Dallas ISD’s Environmental Health & Safety department. Their contact information is below.
Phone: (972) 925-4500
Who will conduct the testing in schools?
EFI Global, Inc. and Terracon Consulting Engineers and Scientists, both third party consulting firms, will perform all of the water sampling. That process is estimated to conclude by early to mid-November.
Will my student’s learning environment be impacted?
No, the sampling effort is scheduled for a time interval that is least likely to have a negative or adverse impact on the intended learning environment (i.e. prior to start of class and the weekend).
What does it mean if there are contaminants in drinking water?
The EPA has set drinking water thresholds for lead and other elements that may potentially be found in drinking water. While there are contaminants that will be present in water, the EPA has guidelines to determine if those contaminants meet actionable levels. Find our more on water regulations, as set by the EPA here.
What constituents did the District sample for?
The District sampled for lead and copper
What are the acceptable thresholds for the constituents that the District sampled for?
The EPA established maximum contaminant level (MCL) for lead is 0.015 milligrams per liter (mg/L). Any concentration greater than the MCL requires action to be taken, alternatively, concentrations less than the MCL are considered acceptable and therefore do not require that action be taken.
The EPA established MCL for copper is 1.3 milligrams per liter (mg/L).
What will Dallas ISD be sampling?
As recommended by the EPA, Dallas ISD will draw samples from at least two consumable source locations at each campus. One source will include a water fountain, and the other a kitchen food preparation sink.
How can I find out more information about water sampling in schools?
We encourage our parents, teachers, staff and community members to review the EPA website that provides a more detailed protocol for schools and child centers of where and what to sample. Please visit: https://www.epa.gov/dwreginfo/testing-schools-and-child-care-centers-lead-drinking-water.
More helpful information can be found here in both English and Spanish:
“3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools” This document can be downloaded as a PDF.