Testing for Lead in Drinking Water
LEAD IN DRINKING WATER TESTING UPDATE
Revisions to Public Health Law (Section 1110) are now in effect. The major revisions to the law and guidance, which will require changes to Subpart 67-4, are as follows:
- The revised action level of lead in drinking water is 5 parts per billion (ppb), reduced from 15 ppb.
- School buildings deemed “lead-free” are no longer exempt from testing requirements per Subpart 67-4.
- Water provided to school occupants following an outlet being taken out of service due to an action level exceedance must be free of charge.
- Copies of lead results including lab reports and lead remediation plans must be made available to the public and posted on the school’s website.
- Compliance testing will occur on a triennial (every 3 years) schedule, reduced from 5 years.
- The first compliance period under the revised law will be from Jan. 1, 2023 through Dec. 31, 2025.
- A school building may conduct their compliance testing at any time during this period.
- A school district may conduct their compliance testing at different school buildings over the duration of the 3 year compliance period, including different school buildings in different years.
- Guidance and best practice indicates prioritizing entire buildings where “2020” results of applicable drinking water outlets were above 5 ppb (i.e. sample the building, do not target individual outlets, for ease of compliance tracking purposes)
- 2023 HERDS is being prepared for the new regulatory and compliance period updates, notifications will be sent out when HERDS is available and uploading of any completed buildings will be expected at that time.
- Sampling of bathroom sinks is not required, label these outlets “Do Not Drink,” or equivalent, as soon as practicable and continue to provide education and document in Remedial Action Plan.