Schools can receive technical assistant this fall to ensure they are providing safe drinking water to students with the help of a program from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE, formerly MDEQ) and the Michigan Department of Education (MDE).

The free School Drinking Water Training Program is available to public and non-public schools.

EGLE is providing free technical resources to perform an assessment of your drinking water facilities, including a plumbing profile, fixture inventory, and the development of a sampling plan for each school building in your district. These no-cost resources also include guidance and training on how to; reduce liability, collect water samples, interpret sample results, develop public communication plans, and reduce the risk of lead in the drinking water by taking appropriate actions.

Sampling for lead or other drinking water contaminants is not currently required in schools supplied by a community water system, but the only way to verify lead concentrations in drinking water is to perform an assessment and collect samples from each fixture used for drinking water or food preparation.

Schools that decide to collect samples are required to pay for the laboratory analysis costs and any costs associated with replacing fixtures or other mitigation actions to reduce the risk of lead. EGLE will pay for lead sample collection and analysis for eligible schools from a federal grant it is receiving this fall. Top priority will be given to school buildings with the highest potential risk of lead in drinking water (youngest children and oldest buildings) and in low-income communities.

To schedule the school drinking water assessment, contact Holly Gohlke, EGLE school drinking water coordinator, at (989) 705-3422 or gohlkeh@michigan.gov.

More information is available on the EGLE website.