Lead in Philadelphia Schools


Lead contamination of drinking water is widespread in Philadelphia’s schools, according to available data. Of schools with published testing data, lead was detected at 61 percent of fountains and other taps, and 98 percent of these schools found lead in the water at one or more outlets.

Even low levels of lead threaten our children’s health, and so these findings demand immediate action. The school district can make our kids’ water dramatically safer by replacing old fountains with water bottle stations that have filters to remove lead, and installing such filters on all other taps used for drinking and cooking. The district even has funding available to take these steps.

Sign our petition requesting that the School District of Philadelphia take immediate steps to tackle this threat.

About the data: Under a 2017 citywide law, the School District of Philadelphia is required to test for lead contamination in each water outlet in every school building every 5 years and publish the results on a publicly available website. Unfortunately, as of February 1, 2022, only 29% of public schools in the district had testing data published online.  Our findings are based on this available data. There is reason to believe that similar patterns of contamination exist at other Philadelphia schools, as most schools have at least some plumbing, solder, fountains, and/or faucets made with lead.

This map includes schools for which data is available. All other schools with and without public data are in the chart below. If you do not see lead testing results for your school, contact the district at 215-400-4000.




Banner photo: Hamid Siddiqi via Unsplash