State to test school water for lead

A Nevada elementary school student takes a drink from a school fountain.

A Nevada elementary school student takes a drink from a school fountain.

In the wake of national issues involving lead in drinking water, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection secured U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant funding to begin a voluntary testing program for Nevada elementary schools. Grant funding will cover laboratory analytical costs to initiate drinking water sampling in all 408 Nevada public schools (including public charter schools) with a Kindergarten or Pre-K program. In the event that an old drinking water fountain or old culinary fixture is contributing lead to school drinking water, the grant also provides funding for replacement of fixtures until the funds are depleted.

“Nevada’s naturally hard water helps prevent a lead problem in many areas and overall compliance with the lead action level is excellent,” said Division of Environmental Protection Deputy Administrator Jennifer Carr. “However, old plumbing and fixtures can potentially contribute lead and copper to drinking water. This funding will help our schools gather important information about their drinking water.”

Tests conducted at Lyon County’s Dayton Elementary School this fall showed that all samples taken from water fountains and fixtures had lead and copper levels that were not detectable, or were well below the NDEP action levels for drinking water. In the coming months, the NDEP will reach out to each school district to discuss the details of the program and seek participation.

For more information about lead in Nevada’s drinking water and compliance data for public water systems, visit


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