Weld RE-4 School District Lead Testing Information
In June 2022, Governor Polis signed into law Colorado House Bill 22-1358: Clean Water in Schools and Child Care Centers. This bill requires all licensed child care programs and public schools to test their drinking water for lead and take action when results show levels of lead at or above 5 parts per billion (ppb). The goal of this law is to lower children’s exposure to lead. To meet these requirements, we began testing for lead at water fixtures in buildings with students in preschool through 5th grade earlier this year (not including charter schools).
What is lead, and why is it being tested?
Lead is a toxic metal that is especially harmful to young children (ver en español). The degree of risk depends on the child’s total exposure to lead from all environmental sources – air, soil, dust, food, paint, consumer products, and water. Typically, old or corroded lead plumbing or old brass fixtures can contribute to increased lead levels in drinking water. If families are concerned about their child’s exposure they can have their blood tested. Families should contact their health provider to learn more about testing their child’s blood for lead. For more information please visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) website.
What are the results for Weld RE-4?
As of July 18, 2023, over 47,000 samples have been taken across the state of Colorado, over 3,300 of which require action plans for remediation. As this is a state-wide issue, we cannot predict when test results will be processed for our remaining elementary schools. Families will be contacted by their schools as further test results are made available from the state, and results will be shared on this page below.
To view detailed sample results for our schools and schools across the state, visit the CDPHE website.
How is the district responding?
We are required to take action to reduce drinking water exposure to lead in all facilities with lead results above 5 parts per billion. When lead is found at or above 5 ppb, the fixture is shut off while a more long-term solution is underway. These solutions may include permanently removing the fixture from service, designating a fixture as “not for drinking,” replacing water fixtures, or installing filters. Any highly-sensitive water fixtures (food preparation stations and nursing stations) will be addressed as a high priority. To view detailed sample results for our schools and schools across the state, visit the CDPHE website.
Is the district going to address secondary schools?
In 2021, water bottle filling stations were upgraded districtwide to include filtered water. As of July 18, 2023, these water bottle filling stations have a 100% pass rate. Out of an abundance of caution and in a desire to exceed legal requirements for the safety of our students and staff, we will proactively test our middle and high schools. These tests are expected to be completed by the end of the 2023 - 2024 school year, pending lab test facility capacity.
How is this being funded?
The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) provides funding for the following (for all public schools serving grades preschool through 5th):
Technical assistance and mitigation guidance
Funding of projects outside of the scope of HB22-1358, including the testing of middle and high school fixtures, will be provided from the Weld RE-4 General Fund.
As educators and community members, we take the wellbeing of our students and staff very seriously. Providing a safe and healthy learning environment is our number one priority. We will continue to share any new information with families as it becomes available. For questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.