|DATE:||June 9, 2017|
|FROM:||Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction|
Mandatory Water Testing in Public Schools
This memorandum is to inform school divisions that the 2017 General Assembly enacted Senate Bill 1359 requiring school divisions to conduct lead testing of potable water to ensure that schools have a safe, clean water supply for consumption by students and staff. This legislation also requires local school boards to give priority to testing in schools that were built, in whole or in part, before 1986. This testing requirement is effective July 1, 2017, and local school boards must develop a schedule for water testing and a plan for remediation as needed.
Senate Bill 1359 amends the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 22.1-135.1 as follows:
- 22.1-135.1. Potable water: lead testing
Each local school board shall develop and implement a plan to test and, if necessary, remediate potable water from sources identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as high priority for testing, including bubbler-style and cooler-style drinking fountains, cafeteria or kitchen taps, classroom combination sinks and drinking fountains, and sinks known to be or visibly used for consumption. The local school board shall give priority in the testing plan to schools whose school building was constructed, in whole or in part, before 1986.
In conducting water testing, school divisions should utilize a laboratory that is certified by the Department of General Services’ Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services. A list of certified laboratories is available on the Department of General Services website at:
If you need additional information, please contact Vijay Ramnarain, Director of Support Services, at Vijay.Ramnarain@doe.virginia.gov or (804) 225-2037, or Hunter Barnes at Hunter.Barnes@doe.virginia.gov or (804) 225-2035.