Colorado dedicates $21 million to getting lead out of kids’ water

Media Contacts

DENVER —  As the school year draws to a close, Colorado took a step forward to protect children from lead exposure in drinking water as Gov. Polis signed HB22-1358

Under the bill, covered facilities – including child care centers and some schools – will need to test all drinking water sources for lead, and filter the source if lead is detected at concentrations of 5 parts per billion (ppb) or greater after testing. The bill dedicates $21 million to reimbursing the costs of testing and remediation.

In response, Alex Simon, CoPIRG advocate, made the following statement:

“We’ve known for decades that lead is highly toxic for kids – harming their growth, development and learning. While Colorado has been lagging in protecting our kids from this toxin, this bill is a key step in the right direction. To ensure all kids are protected from lead exposure, we urge school districts to install filters at all water sources for all grade levels.

We should not rely on testing to determine where we install filters. Because lead in water ebbs and flows, a 5 ppb trigger for action is likely to leave some lead-bearing faucets and fountains unremediated. That’s why it is important schools go beyond this bill’s minimum requirements if we’re going to truly protect our children from lead exposure. Our Get the Lead Out toolkit offers additional strategies and ways for school districts to identify additional money so we can filter every tap.”