Lead Water Testing

  • Background: In 2017 the General Assembly enacted Senate Bill 1359 requiring school divisions to implement a plan to conduct testing of potable water to ensure that schools have a safe, clean water supply for consumption by students and staff. Testing priority will be given to schools that were built, in whole or in part, before 1986. 

    Scope: Water will be tested from high priority sources as identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The sources include; bubbler-style and cooler-style drinking fountains, cafeteria or kitchen taps, classroom combination sinks, drinking fountains, and sinks known to be visibly used for consumption.  Samples shall be collected using Virginia Department of Health and EPA recommended procedures. Samples will be analyzed by a Department of Consolidated Laboratory Services certified laboratory. 

    Posting: Once the initial testing has concluded, results of each test conducted will be posted to the Division website and transmitted to the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Drinking Water. 

    Results and Tolerance: If any test result indicates a level of lead in potable water at or above 15 parts per billion, a remediation plan will be implemented. Remediation will be confirmed by retesting the water at two consecutive six-month intervals, consistent with the Safe Water Drinking Act.     

    Schedule of Testing:  On November 1, 2017, Roanoke County Schools entered into a contract with a consultant to perform lead test at all RCPS facilities.  The initial testing will begin on or around December 15, 2017 and conclude on June 30, 2018; however, please note delays may occur outside of RCPS staff and consultants control including receiving sample bottles from the laboratory or analysis upon receipt by the laboratory.  Prior to testing the water supply, each sample point (water outlet) will be flushed by the school staff the day before for approximately 5 minutes and then allowed to sit unused for a minimum of 8 hours until sampled by the consultant.  The testing schedule may be altered as determined due to the needs of the school division.  

    Samples will be collected where possible in the early morning hours or on Saturday prior to water use at the facilities. The consultant will be escorted by staff and identify high priority water sources such as drinking water fountains.

    Remediation:  A source of potable water may be remediated by replacement of faucets, fountains, piping or discontinuation of use of the source of potable water. These methods of remediation are not all inclusive. The best method of remediation will be implemented in conjunction with our testing firm.