Water Testing in AAPS Buildings



  • Testing for Lead in AAPS Drinking Water

    2019-20 Testing for Lead Fall Update 

    During Fall 2019, the District will complete the installation of NSF certified filters in all remaining indoor drinking water locations (those not already filtered). 

    Once the filters are installed, AAPS will retest all drinking water locations to ensure that we have achieved the lowest possible levels in drinking water in our schools; the AAPS goal for Fall 2019 is to achieve a non-detect level in all indoor drinking locations. In the meantime, we encourage all to drink from our new hydration stations.

    This filter installation project is anticipated to be complete by December 2019; the testing process will follow immediately with a subsequent timely report to the Board of Education and to AAPS parents and staff.


    Superintendent Communication
    Wednesday, June 5, 2019

    As part of all of the work we do in the Ann Arbor Public Schools to attend to the health and well-being of all 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 we take very seriously the risks associated with lead exposure, particularly with our youngest children. 

    2018-19 Testing for Lead in Drinking Water Program Update

    During this 2018-19 school year, we have reduced the AAPS action level from >15ppb to >5ppb (the FDA standard for bottled water), and we have voluntarily expanded the testing for lead in drinking water program to evaluate all 1,426 drinking water locations at all school campuses across the district.

    The 2018-19 testing process is complete, and I am writing today to share an update on our progress with the 2018-19 Testing for Lead in Drinking Water Program and additional steps we have taken this year in the AAPS.

    All currently active drinking water locations across all our schools have been tested and are confirmed at 5ppb or below, and filtered hydration stations have been installed in all 32 school locations.

    From 32 school campuses and 1,426 drinking water source locations:

    • 1,307, or 91.66% of locations, met or exceed the AAPS standard, testing at 5ppb or below,
    • an additional 85 locations or 5.96%, test below the EPA action level of 15ppb for municipal public water sources and,
    • at 34 locations, or 2.38% of the 1,426 locations tested, water samples flagged above the AAPS and EPA action level.

    If you would like to see the testing results for your school(s), you may find this information at this link.

  • water testing graphic
  • Additional Steps

    As a reminder, additional steps we are currently taking to ensure the lowest possible levels of lead in our AAPS school drinking water include:

    1. Filtered water bottle filling stationsare now installed in all our AAPS schools, and we encourage students and staff to use these locations to obtain water for consumption.

      During summer 2019, we will have completed the installation of hydration stations, achieving the recommended ratio of 1 hydration station per 100 individuals in all AAPS school locations.

    2. Continue the flushing of all water systems following school breaks, such as summer, Thanksgiving, winter break, and spring break.

    3. Install signage in low priority water locations, such as custodial closets, etc., to remind everyone that water in these locations is not for consumption. The work of installing signs will occur during summer 2019.

    4. Future Testing for Lead In Drinking Water will be completed on an ongoing basis, and results will be communicated directly to all AAPS parents via email, on the a2schools.org website, and shared as an Annual Report to the Board of Education to ensure the Board and community receive this information updated directly each year. 

    You may view the 2018-19 Annual AAPS Testing for Lead in Drinking Water Report presented at the May 8, 2019 Board meeting here.

    In the Ann Arbor Public Schools, we are committed to the health and well-being of all our children and staff and to the important work of preventing and addressing levels of lead in school drinking water. We look forward to maintaining our position as a leading school district in the state and across the country on this very critical issue of student health and safety.

    Throughout this testing for lead in drinking water process, we have coordinated our AAPS efforts with our partners at the Washtenaw County Health Department. If you should have additional questions regarding lead and your child’s health, parents are advised to consult with their pediatrician and/or reach out to Washtenaw County Health Department at 734-544-6700.

    Sincerely,

    Swift signature

    Jeanice Kerr Swift
    Superintendent of Schools
    Ann Arbor Public Schools



    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.