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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.

Contact Us Today!

We are here to answer questions you have about enrolling or participating in the program.
Please contact us at: or (737) 276-1987

We can help you enroll one or multiple facilities. Please reach out to us if you have any questions.

Parents and community members can show their support by nominating a facility. Nominated facilities are contacted and encouraged to enroll in the program.

Access the public results portal where you can view and download sample results.

Lead Testing for School and Child Care logo

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

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

This voluntary program offers free training and guidance on how to identify sources of lead in drinking water and how to reduce exposure to lead where children are cared for. To evaluate potential exposure and communicate your efforts, we offer sampling materials and laboratory testing, and help communicating your plans and results with your school or child care community.

Our program is based on the EPA's 3Ts Training, Testing, and Taking Action

Young girl drinking from public water fountain

What does participation involve?

To help you successfully complete the 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 them to a laboratory for testing.
  • Recommendations on how to reduce exposure to lead.

Who is Eligible?

All Texas public schools and regulated child care programs are 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.
Day care teachers with toddlers around a table playing with toys

When you enroll, we will guide you through each step of the program. By participating, you should expect to:

  • Complete trainings to learn about the sources and health effects of lead.
  • Share program participation with your community.
  • Create a sampling plan by identifying all drinking and cooking water outlets in your facility.
  • Complete sample collector training.
  • Receive a sampling kit, collect samples, and ship samples to a laboratory for testing.
  • Take action to reduce lead in drinking water, as needed.

To enroll, we need information about your facility, the children you care for, and your point of contact. This information is used to determine eligibility.

Having the following information will help you complete the enrollment form.

  • Facility details: facility type (school or child care), the state-assigned identification number or operation number, facility name and address, and grade levels at the facility.
  • Approximate number of students, faculty, and staff.
  • Estimated construction dates of buildings.
  • Approximate number of outlets used for drinking and food and beverage preparation.
  • Who provides your drinking water (found on a copy of your facility’s monthly water bill).
  • Number of children 6 years old or younger.
  • Number of children receiving free and reduced lunch.
  • Name and contact information for the individual that will oversee program activities.

The program is self-guided. We provide training and materials necessary to help you build a strong team, develop a communication plan, and manage all program records.

You will need to identify who will fulfill the roles and responsibilities of the program. Determine who can:

  • Be the coordinator and main contact for the program.
  • Handle communication with your facility community.
  • Create the sampling plan.
  • Collect the samples.

Before collecting samples, you will create a sampling plan. We provide the training you need to accomplish this. The purpose of developing a sampling plan is to inventory the outlets people use for drinking water and food and beverage preparation, and gather information about a building and its plumbing materials.

This information will help you collect samples that produce useful test results, that help locate potential sources of lead, and make accurate and affordable decisions on how to address a problem.

Anyone at your facility can collect samples after completing the sample collector training. The key to successful sampling is to ensure you follow the instructions provided during the training. We will mail you a sample kit with a pre-paid return shipping label and all materials and instructions needed to collect samples. After collecting samples, you will ship the samples to the laboratory for analysis.

There are several strategies for reducing lead exposure and improving drinking water quality, many of which are low or no cost. Once your samples are analyzed, and the results are known, we will provide recommendations in an action plan. You can determine the action that is right for each site in your building by using this action plan.

Examples of recommended actions include:

  • Providing filters at problem outlets.
  • Routine maintenance.
  • Removing access to problem outlets by temporarily or permanently taking them out of service.
  • Replacing problem outlets or reconfiguring/upgrading plumbing.

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

Funding is provided through the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, Section 2107 .