Lead Sampling Program for Public Schools
The Indiana Finance Authority "IFA"), with assistance from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (“IDEM”), has developed the Lead Sampling Program for Public Schools to help schools assess if there is a presence of lead in drinking water within their facilities.
We have completed the initial round of water testing for all schools in the Lead Sampling Program. IFA sent the following letter to all our partner schools in July of 2018. In this letter, we announced the end of the program and shared some early results trends. These are only preliminary findings and a final report will be made public after January of 2019.
Is this a voluntary program?
Yes, participation is voluntary. This program is voluntary because current state and federal laws do not require schools that purchase water from a Public Water System to test for lead. The Safe Drinking Water Act’s Lead and Copper Rule requires Public Water Systems to sample for lead at single family dwellings. The most typical type of Public Water System is a municipally-owned drinking water utility.
Who is eligible for the program?
K-12 public schools, as identified by the Indiana Department of Education, are eligible for the Lead Sampling Program. Schools that are classified as a Public Water System are not included in the program because they are already required to sample their facilities for the presence of lead.
How can lead get into the water supply?
Lead primarily enters drinking water through corrosion of internal plumbing materials such as lead service lines, lead solder, brass fittings and fixtures, and galvanized steel pipes. Lead is not commonly found in ground or surface water. Even though the drinking water received from a Public Water System meets federal and state standards for lead, a school may still have elevated lead levels due to plumbing materials and/or water use patterns. In most cases, the issue is not system-wide, but specific to the fixture identified.
How do I know if there is a problem?
What is considered an elevated lead level in a school’s drinking water?
In Indiana, an elevated lead level is a reading that meets or exceeds the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “action level” of 15 parts per billion (ppb). The action level of 15 ppb is not a measure of health effects. It serves as a signal to the school to take steps to reduce the lead concentration in the water.
What does the Program provide?
The Lead Sampling Program covers the cost to collect and analyze samples. Schools are responsible for any costs associated with remediation actions identified by sampling and subsequent confirmatory testing. IFA will provide remediation guidance to each school that pertains to each school’s specific results.
What is the timeline for this program?
Lead Sampling Program Fact Sheet
As of January 2018, over 150 public school districts have enrolled in the IFA’s Lead Sampling Program. See below map.
Enrollment for the Indiana Finance Authority’s Lead Sampling Program for Public Schools has closed. If you have questions about the program, please contact Program Director, Sarah Hudson at SaHudson@ifa.in.gov or 317-232-2812.
The resources in this section provide guidance on designing a sampling plan, collecting samples, communicating with the public, and remediating problem fixtures.
The IFA will provide up-to-date results on the Lead Sampling Program every two weeks while the program is active.
IFA Lead Sampling Program in the news
Director, Water Resources and Infrastructure Planning Program
Program Mailing Address:
100 North Senate Avenue, Rm. 1275
Indianapolis, IN 46204