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Voluntary Lead Testing in School and Child Care Drinking Water

TCEQ is offering a free statewide program to help eligible participants conduct voluntary sampling and analysis for lead in drinking water at their schools and child care facilities.

Lead Testing for School and Child Care logo

A Program for Reducing Children's Exposure to Lead in Drinking Water

This program is focused on promoting voluntary testing of drinking water for lead, taking corrective action if problems are identified, and sharing testing results and plans for reducing lead exposure in drinking water with parents, staff, students, and the community at large.

As part of our program, school and child care facilities develop a plan to test for lead in drinking water fountains and other outlets where students and staff get water for drinking and cooking.

Sampling and laboratory testing are the only way to determine if lead is present in a school or child care facility's drinking or cooking water.

To help evaluate potential exposure and protect children in the places where they learn and are cared for, TCEQ will offer free sampling materials and laboratory testing, guidance for completing the program, and help communicating with your school or child care community to increase awareness about the health effects of lead and how to reduce exposure.

Young girl drinking from public water fountain

Who is Eligible?

Your public school or state regulated child care facility is eligible, but priority is given to:

  • Schools and child care programs in low income or underserved areas (for example, schools where at least 50% of the children receive free and reduced lunch, and Head Start facilities).
  • Schools and child care facilities mainly caring for children 6 years old and younger.
  • Older facilities that are more likely to have pipes and fixtures containing lead.

Is my school or child care facility required to participate?

No, this program is entirely voluntary. Currently, there are no state or federal regulations that require drinking water testing at schools and child care facilities.

What does participation involve?

To successfully complete this program, you will receive:

  • Education about the health effects and sources of lead.
  • Guidance on how to communicate with your community about the program.
  • Guidance on selecting testing sites.
  • Training on how to collect samples and send to the laboratory for testing.
  • Recommendations on how to reduce exposure to lead.

How do I learn more and enroll?

More information and an online enrollment form are coming soon. In the meantime, if you have questions about program requirements please contact us at

Day care teachers with toddlers around a table playing with toys

Need more information about lead in drinking water or this program?

Find information about the health effects of lead, its sources, and how to reduce exposure to it at EPA's webpage: Basic Information about Lead in Drinking WaterExit the TCEQ.

Funding is provided through the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, Section 2107: Lead Testing in School and Child Care Program Drinking Water grant.

Program guidance is based on the EPA's 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools and Child Care Facilities (EPA's 3Ts GuidanceExit the TCEQ) (EPA 815-B-18-007; October 2018).

Lead Testing for School and Child Care logo