Clean Water For America

New report: Schools have homework to get the lead out

Thousands of drinking water fixtures in schools across Colorado have tested positive for lead and require remediation. Schools have work to do to get the lead out.

Amanda Mills, USCDCP | Public Domain
Girl drinking from a water fountain

Our new analysis of the lead levels in drinking water reported by schools found there are lead contaminated fixtures in all of Colorado’s largest school districts, and much of the required remediation remains incomplete, some more than one year after testing.

Across the state’s 10 largest school districts, 2,201 drinking sources recorded excessive amounts of lead in their water samples, so far, based on the 5 ppb state limit. Of those fixtures, progress for approximately 64% of them – 1,417 fixtures – was still listed as “underway” or “further fixes underway” on the state’s website as of May 1, 2024, despite many of the samples getting submitted over a year ago.

We recommend that Colorado school districts not only remediate the lead fixtures that test positive but take stronger action to ensure safe drinking water for kids. Given the widespread use of lead in fixtures and the unreliability of testing, school districts should be preventing contamination at every tap, not just fixing those where a single sample finds lead. 

The full report can be found here.

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