Seattle Public Schools

6896SP Drinking Water Quality and Access

This Procedure is based on and intended to fully comply with the requirements of state law (RCW 28A.210.410) and relevant technical guidance under the law.

Testing requirements

In school buildings built, or with all plumbing replaced, before 2016, the District shall either a) cooperate with the State Department of Health so that they can conduct water quality sampling and testing or b) contract for sampling and testing that meets the requirements of RCW 43.70.830 and submit the test results to the Department. All drinking water outlets, for example taps, faucets, or fountains, that students have access to where it is reasonably foreseeable that the water may be used for drinking, cooking, or food preparation, shall be tested.

Many plumbing fixtures are not designed to serve as drinking water sources. These include dish-washing sinks in school kitchens, hand-washing sinks in restrooms, and sinks in laboratories and art classrooms. According to the State Department of Health, these sources will not be tested. Where they are accessible to students, the District will take steps to discourage their use for drinking, which may include posting “Do Not Drink the Water” signs.

As soon as practicable after receiving a lead test result that reveals a lead concentration that exceeds 15 parts per billion at a drinking water outlet, and until a lead contamination mitigation measure is implemented, the water shall be shut off to the outlet.

For a lead test result that reveals an elevated (exceeding 5 parts per billion) lead level, the District shall develop a school action plan in consultation with the State Department of Health or Public Health – Seattle & King County regarding technical guidance and with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction regarding funding for remediation activities. This action plan shall be adopted within 6 months of receipt of receipt of the test result and shall:

  • Describe mitigation measures implemented since the lead test result was received
  • Include a schedule of remediation activities, including use of filters, that adhere to the technical guidance The schedule may be based on the availability of state or federal funding for remediation activities.
  • Include post-remediation testing to confirm that remediation activities have reduced lead concentrations at drinking water outlets to 5 parts per billion or lower.

The public shall be provided with notice and opportunity to comment on the school action plan before it is adopted by the School Board.

Communication requirements

For any school where the latest test results (initial or post-remediation) reveal elevated lead levels at any drinking water outlet, the District shall communicate annually with students’ families and staff at that building about the lead contamination. The communication will be developed in consultation with the State Department of Health or Public Health – Seattle & King County and shall include:

• The health effects of lead exposure
• The website address of the most recent lead test results
• Information about the District’s plan for remedial action

This communication shall be provided as early in the school year as possible.

Drinking water access

Where a building does not have an adequate number of drinking water sources dispersed throughout the building to allow easy access, within 150 feet or less of every classroom or office, for all students and staff throughout the school day, sufficient bottled water shall be provided free of charge until the school action plan has been completed and post-remediation testing confirms the lead levels are no longer elevated.