Drinking Water Protection
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Environmental Health Division
Drinking Water in Schools, Child Care and Head Start Programs
We will be updating our website, materials, and processes to reflect changes from this legislative session (see SF 2995, lines 171.1 and 229.19). We will keep partners informed about how they are affected by these changes and when they will take effect.
MDH works with schools, child cares, and Head Start programs to protect and maintain drinking water quality. MDH provides education for teachers, parents, students and school professionals on drinking water.
MDH Role in Schools, Child Care, and Head Start Programs Drinking Water
The MDH mission is to protect, maintain, and improve the health of all Minnesotans. This includes partnering with drinking water systems, schools, child care providers, and Head Start programs to provide safe drinking water. MDH works to be as transparent as possible with sharing of information related to safe drinking water. MDH provides guidance and technical assistance to schools, child care providers and Head Start programs about how to test drinking water and take follow up actions.
Water systems provide water that meets or exceeds the Safe Drinking Water Act requirements. Water systems communicate water quality to customers through the annual consumer conﬁdence report.
- Follow applicable state legislation to test drinking water for lead.
- Follow state and federal guidance on testing, taking action, and communicating about water quality to their communities.
- Maintain and manage water use, and plumbing materials in their facilities.
- Provide education to communities about their facilities.
- Requirements for schools to test for lead and communicate results to their communities.
- Guidance for child cares to test for lead in school drinking water.
- Guidance, requirements, and resources for Head Start programs to test for lead in drinking water.
- Information for stakeholders to provide feedback to MDH on results reporting and testing documents.
- Grant opportunities for schools, child cares, and Head Start programs to test for lead, apply for hydration stations and learn about resources for meeting state drinking water standards.
- Opportunities for educators to learn about drinking water and engage their students on drinking water issues.
Resources for meeting state drinking water standards and requirements
Schools, Offices, Factories, and Child Care (Nontransient) are public water supplies which provide drinking water that serve at least 25 of the same people over six months of the year. While most schools, child care providers, and Head Start programs get their water from a municipal public water system, some that have their own well(s) are required to meet the federal Safe Drinking Water Act requirements.
Choose Safe Places Minnesota is an initiative to identify and address potential environmental concerns at or around child care locations to protect children and providers from harmful substances.