· District Releases Results of 2022-2023 Voluntary Lead in Drinking Water Quality Testing of 2,364 Water FixturesThe Pittsburgh Public Schools continues its commitment to ensuring high quality H2O for its students and staff, sharing the results of voluntary testing conducted during the 2022-2023 school year. In 2016, the District became one of the first districts in the region to test its potable water fixtures for lead, and released the results of a retest on November 22, 2019.As part of the 2022 testing, which took place over the course of eight months, the District collected 4,724 (first and second draw) samples from 2,364 water fountains, sink faucets and other outlets across 70 facilities, including every school building, 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. Any faucet or fountain that showed lead levels exceeding the action level of 15 ppb was immediately shut off and signage to prohibit usage was posted.Immediate action was taken by the District to remediate, replace and repair the affected fixtures. The affected drinking water fountains were permanently taken out of service, and/or replaced with new filtered chilled water fountains. The affected classroom and other faucets were replaced, retested, and if they were still found to remain above the action level - taken out of service or permanent ‘hand wash only – do no drink from faucet’ signage was posted.
As of 2023, about 98% of all water fountains Districtwide are high-efficiency chilled filtered water fountains.
Detailed findings, per school, are available 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