Water Testing in AAPS Buildings

  • During Fall 2019, the District completed the installation of NSF certified filters in all remaining indoor drinking water locations (those not already filtered). These filters will be replaced annually during the summer. Any aerators or screens present will also be cleaned and/or replaced annually during the summer.

    During Winter and Spring 2020, the District has completed the retesting of all indoor drinking water locations throughout the District. This sampling was completed in an effort to ensure that we achieve the lowest possible levels of lead in drinking water in our schools.

    From 32 school campuses and 1,820 drinking water source locations:

    • 1,772, or 98.12% of locations met or exceed the AAPS standard, testing at 5ppb or below.
    • 1,554 or 86.05% of locations tested at non-detect for lead.
    • An additional 22, or 1.22% of locations tested below the EPA action level of 15ppb for municipal public drinking water sources.
    • 12 locations, or .66% of the 1,806 drinking water locations tested returned results above the AAPS and EPA drinking water action levels.

    Locations above the AAPS standard were immediately removed from service and not returned to service until the AAPS standard was met or exceeded. Elevated locations were evaluated immediately for remediation. Repeat first draw sampling was completed at locations with significant sediment noted in aerators and screens. Follow-up flush sampling was completed at elevated locations with no aerator or screen to determine if interior piping was contributing to the elevated lead levels. Elevated locations were replaced as necessary and tested after replacement to ensure that the AAPS standard was met or exceeded. Sequential sampling was not necessary during this round of sampling due to the remediation of elevated lead through other corrective sampling practices including fixture replacement. 

    During Spring 2020, the District will continue to complete the retesting of all exterior drinking water locations throughout the District. The District is also taking the additional step of testing all exterior locations for Fecal Coliform & E Coli bacteria. The exterior drinking water sampling is anticipated to be completed by June 2020.

    Global Statistics

    2019-20 summary table

  • water testing graphic

  • AAPS Testing for Lead in Drinking Water Program

    As part of all of the work we do in the Ann Arbor Public Schools to attend to the health and wellbeing of all of our students and staff, we also have our attention on the quality of our drinking water in our schools. We are committed to achieving the lowest possible levels of lead in drinking water in the AAPS, and take very seriously the risks associated with lead exposure, particularly with our youngest children.

    Lab flask with water We have voluntarily tested water annually in all AAPS schools since spring, 2016, and in previous years, we have addressed any and all issues of parts per billion (ppb) measures of >15ppb, established as an action level by the EPA.

    The 2018-19 water testing cycle for lead in drinking water is currently in progress.

    With the overall goal of the program to reduce exposure to lead, in this current round of testing we are also lowering the threshold for when we implement the AAPS protocol for addressing an issue. Beginning with 2018-19 testing, remediation efforts will be implemented when lead levels are at >5 ppb.

    drinking fountain cartoon In addition, we are currently working to replace older water fixtures in schools, and installing water bottle filling stations with NSF certified lead filters. To help guide us in this work we will complete an inventory of all drinking water sources across the AAPS.

    Testing in AAPS schools is focused on all drinking water and food preparation locations, including all high-priority sites such as drinking fountains, kitchen sinks, and classroom water fixtures. Water testing is conducted by Arch Environmental Group, professional partners to AAPS on environmental issues. Arch Environmental Group fulfills a similar service for 47 other school districts in Michigan.

    The AAPS protocol for addressing the issue, when lead levels read at >5ppb, may include replacing water fixtures, installing certified lead filters and, in some cases, replacing water pipes behind the fixture, which is the protocol indicated by water quality experts.

    Next steps: 

    1. Install water bottle filling stations with NSF certified lead filters in all our AAPS schools and encourage students and staff to use these as preferred locations to obtain water for consumption.
    2. With the 2018-19 water testing cycle, ensure all drinking water and food preparation sources are tested in every AAPS school building.
    3. Continue the flushing of all water systems following school breaks, such as summer, Thanksgiving, winter break, and spring break.
    4. Complete an inventory of all drinking water sources to ensure attention is paid to all fixtures across the district.
    5. Implement appropriate remediation/mitigation activities for any drinking water source locations measuring >5ppb across the district.
    6. Education for students, staff, and parents: with aged infrastructure across the country, our AAPS community faces the possibility of consuming water containing lead anywhere they go, so following best practices beginning with teaching our students to always obtain drinking water from trusted sources.
    7. Install signage in low priority locations, such as bathroom sinks, custodial closets, etc. to advise that water in these locations is not for consumption.
    8. Add AAPS Testing for Lead in Drinking Water Program Information as an Annual Report to the Board of Education (as was done in 2016), to ensure the Board and community receive this information updated directly each year.
    9. As we have done since spring, 2016, we will continue to post results of AAPS Testing for Lead in Drinking Water Program on the AAPS website.

    drop of water cartoon In the Ann Arbor Public Schools, we are committed to the work of preventing and addressing levels of lead in school drinking water, and look forward to maintaining our position as a leading school district in the state on this very critical issue of student health and safety.