Lead Decision Tree

EPA encourages schools and child care facilities to conduct testing to assess the risk of lead in the drinking water. The following questions can assist you in assessing that risk.

Note: If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you have a reasonable potential for having elevated levels of lead in the drinking water. The only way to know if a drinking water outlet has elevated levels of lead is to test it. Testing drinking water in schools and child care facilities is important because children spend a lot of time in these facilities and are likely to consume water while there.

a. Is there lead solder in the building (very commonly used before the "lead-free" requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act took effect in 1986)? Yes

b. Is the service line (the connector which brings water from the main into your building) a lead pipe? Yes

c. Does the building have lead pipes and pipe fittings in the plumbing system (plumbing installed before 1930 is more likely to contain lead than newer pipes)? Yes

d. Do any outlets get green, orange or brown stains? Yes

e. Is there a metallic taste to the water?  Yes

f. Were brass pipes, fittings, faucets and valves installed throughout the building less than 5 years ago? Yes

g. Does your school have water coolers that are not lead free (Check EPA's list in Appendix E of the 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools: Revised Technical Guidance (PDF) (100 pp, 2 M, About PDF))? Yes


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