Drinking Water in SchoolsHow the Minnesota Department of Health is involved:
- Protecting drinking water quality in schools.
- Educating teachers, parents, and students about drinking water.
MDH works cooperatively with the Minnesota Section of American Water Works Association (AWWA) and the Hamline University Center for Global Environmental Education in staging Drinking Water Institutes for Minnesota school teachers.
Teachers learn about drinking water, along with ways to develop the subject into inquiry-based curriculum, at these Institutes. They also have the opportunity to write curriculum to take back to their classrooms. The aim of these institutes is to produce high school graduates who are familiar with drinking water topics.
In addition to its regulatory efforts to protect the water supplied by all of Minnesota’s public water systems, MDH has a program that focuses specifically on lead in school drinking water. This is a voluntary program, but participation by all of Minnesota’s schools is encouraged. The program provides guidance to school staff on the sources and health effects of lead in drinking water. Information is also supplied on how to test for lead in drinking water and how to reduce exposure. Additionally, school staff members are encouraged to distribute lead information to parents so that they may evaluate lead exposure in their own homes.
Reducing Lead in School Drinking Water
The MDH lead in school drinking water program provides guidance to school administrators on the sources and health effects of lead in drinking water. Information is provided on how to test for lead in the drinking water and how to reduce exposure. This program also encourages school administrators to distribute lead information to parents so that they can evaluate exposure to lead in their homes.
- The manual is intended for use by all public and private schools in Minnesota.
- School administrators should review and implement lead exposure reducation strategies.
- The manual is designed to assist Minnesota's schools in minimizing student and staff lead exposure.
- Instructions regarding testing and corrective actions are intended for school health, safety, and maintenance personnel in addition to any consultants working with educational agencies.
- Information on why children are more vulnerable to lead than adults
- Sources of children's exposure to lead
- Why schools may have elevated levels of lead in drinking water
Other Minnesota State Agency Resources
- Healthy Sustainable Schools: Guide for change
(PDF: 1.3MB/138 pages), Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Related Fact Sheets on Lead in Drinking Water
- Let It Run . . . and Get the Lead Out
- Point-of-Use Water Treatment Units for Lead Reduction
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