The Scotts Valley Water District (SVWD) announced today it is partnering with the Scotts Valley Unified School District to test drinking
water at the local schools for lead. The sampling is a proactive measure, spurred by a new State Water Resources Control Board requirement that the water agencies provide water testing for lead if requested by the school districts.
“Delivering safe water to all customers is our top priority,” Scotts Valley Water District General Manager Piret Harmon said. “The drinking water we provide to homes, businesses and schools is safe and meets or exceeds all quality standards set by both the state and federal government. We look forward to working with the school district to help ensure the ongoing safety of our water.”
Schools covered by the new state requirement include public, private, charter, magnet and non-public K-12 schools. Preschools and day-care centers are not included. Scotts Valley Water District will conduct testing for water samples collected at Vine Hill Elementary School, Scotts Valley Middle School and Scotts Valley High School.
"Student safety is our most important consideration,” said Tanya Krause, superintendent of Scotts Valley Unified School District. “We are pleased that the Scotts Valley Water District will be testing our water to confirm its safety. We look forward to receiving the results of the tests
at all of our sites."
The sampling will include drinking fountains, cafeteria and food preparation areas, and reusable water bottle filling stations. No additional sampling will be required if initial testing comes back equal to or under the state’s Lead Action Level of 15 ppb. If initial sampling shows levels above the 15 ppb, water systems must notify the school within two school business days of receiving the results.
Water agencies will be responsible for all the costs associated with collecting samples, analysis and reporting results to the Division of Drinking Water and the school. The agencies will not be responsible, however, for the cost of replacing or upgrading any fountains or school plumbing systems if needed to address lead exceedances. Unlike other areas of the U.S., California’s drinking water is generally at low risk for lead contamination, primarily due to the fact that lead service lines are not common in California. If lead is found in tap water, it is typically because the water chemistry has caused it to react and leach out metals from plumbing fixtures or pipes inside a home or building.