Lead In Drinking Water for Schools

Plan Now for Mandatory Lead in Drinking Water Testing

New York requires all public schools to complete lead in drinking water testing by December 31st, 2025. Even if your district tested in 2020, new testing is required due to updated Lead in Drinking Water Sampling provisions. Any sampling taken prior to January 1, 2023, is no longer valid for compliance per the Department of Health Guidelines.

Changing Regulations

Last year New York Department of Health made sweeping changes to lead in drinking water testing requirements for public schools.

Schools must complete initial first-draw sampling for the 2023-2025 Compliance Period between January 1, 2023 – December 31, 2025. The revised action level of lead in drinking water is 5 parts per billion (ppb), reduced from 15 ppb. Additionally, outlets that previously tested above 5ppb but under 15ppb need to be given priority sampling. That means, that if previously an outlet passed with an action level of 10ppb, under the new regulations, it is considered a priority outlet and should be tested first. Schools are also now required to test every 3 years instead of 5 years. Buildings that were previously determined to be exempt from for being lead-free will no longer be exempt under the new regulations. While most of the reporting requirements have stayed the same, schools must now include copies of lab reports of the lead testing results on their website.

NYS Department of Health (DOH) has released an updated summary in the form of a slideshow as of March 2023. Click here to review the slideshow.

Our Process

Our lead in drinking water services include districtwide initial round-first draw sampling, comprehensive analysis, reporting exceedances to county, uploading data to New York State Health Commerce website and electronic report PDF for posting on district website.


All potable (applicable) water outlets are inspected. Locations are determined beforehand by the district as being Applicable or Non-applicable. Non-applicable locations are inspected for signage.


Applicable locations are sampled for an initial first draw sample and sent to the lab for analysis. Sampling information will be uploaded to the State HERDS website on behalf of the district if elected.


The results of the inspection, sampling and analysis will be tabulated. We provide the district with a hardcopy of the report with maps. We also provide a PDF of the report without maps for uploading to the district website.

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