District Releases Results of Voluntary Retesting of 2,314 Water Fixtures for LeadIn 2016, Pittsburgh Public Schools was one of the first districts in the region to test its potable water fixtures for lead. On November 22, 2019, the District released results from a retest of all its drinking water and cooking use fixtures.As part of the retest, which took place over the course of nine months, the District collected 4,623 samples from the 2,314 water fixtures found in every school building and facility, using guidelines established in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA) Revised Technical Guidance "3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking water in schools".
The District implements the EPA’s two-step sample process. The two-step process consists of a first-draw sample being taken from the first water to come out of a fixture that has not been used for 8 to 18 hours after sitting overnight unused. The second sample, known as a flushed sample, is taken after letting the water run from the fixture for 30 seconds. All fixtures where lead exceeding 15 ppb was found were immediately shut off, and signage to prohibit usage was posted. Immediate action was taken by the District to repair or replace identified fixtures.
Of the samples taken, 2.4% showed lead levels above 15 parts per billion (ppb), the action level established by a 2018 amendment of PA School Code Act 39, Section 742. Detailed findings, per school, are avaialble below. Also below is a helpful FAQ related to lead and drinking water.
- AGX, Inc. Environmental Consultants - Lead in Drinking Water Sampling
- AGX, Inc. Environmental Consultants - Retest of Lead in Drinking Water Sampling
- Skelly and Loy Inc., Engineering and Environmental Consultants - Lead in Drinking Water Sampling
- Skelly and Loy Inc., Engineering and Environmental Consultants - Retest Lead in Drinking Water Sampling
- Water Testing FAQ