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Water Testing

The Environmental Services Department of Jeffco Public Schools began testing lead levels in all drinking water sources at the schools and facilities in 2016. The testing was done proactively and was not required at that time. But the health and safety of students and staff is a priority and the testing has routinely been conducted on a scheduled basis for six years.

In June 2022, Gov. Jared Polis signed into law Colorado House Bill 22-1358: Clean Water in Schools and Childcare Centers, requiring all licensed childcare 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). As part of this legislation, Jeffco tested water at all elementary and K-8 schools before the end of the 2022-23 school year.

Visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment website to view a summary of the most recent results for each drinking water source under the House Bill program.

Public Health Water Standards

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires public water systems to take action if a water sample exceeds 15 parts per billion (ppb). The 15 ppb level is a trigger for action rather than an exposure level risk. However, Colorado law now requires that action be taken if a water sample exceeds 5 ppb.

Because the state’s legislation is written as 5 ppb and not 5.0 ppb, any sample that is 4.5-4.9 ppb is rounded up to be considered in need of remediation. This can be confusing, but it is important to understand the ramifications of how this law was written.

If a fixture test is at or above 4.5 ppb, access to water from that site is immediately turned off and the Jeffco Facilities team will collaborate with the state on a remediation plan that includes ongoing testing to ensure standards are met before access to that fixture is restored.

Cause of Lead in Water

Experts believe the materials contained in old pipes and plumbing fixtures can cause elevated lead levels coming out of specific water faucets and drinking fountains.

Lead exposure does not mean lead poisoning. According to The Colorado State Health Department regarding lead in water sources, the risk of low lead levels causing health issues in students is extremely low. However, those with health concerns can contact their healthcare provider.


2016-22 Water Testing Results

All Jeffco Public Schools (not including charter schools) were tested for lead content in all water sources from June through October of 2016. If any results were found to be above the EPA recommended levels (15 ppb), the water source underwent repairs for mitigation and retests were conducted to confirm lead levels were within acceptable levels.

A five-year rotation of lead testing for all drinking water sources began in the summer of 2017, with at least 20% of all Jeffco schools being tested each year. As such, every school has had drinking water sources tested sometime in the past five years and will again over the next five years or earlier in compliance with the new law. 

Below are links to the lead testing results for drinking water sources in each school conducted prior to Colorado House Bill 22-1358 program coming into effect. Any fixtures that are noted as "Repairs Pending" have been signed "Do Not Drink”, "Hand Washing and Science Use Only," or have been shut off.  Once the water source has undergone mitigation repairs and is sampled at below elevated levels of concern, the fixture is then returned to use.

In addition, the Jeffco Environmental Services Department provides treated water for the following Jeffco locations: Coal Creek Elementary School, Conifer High School, Elk Creek Elementary School, Marshdale Elementary School, West Jefferson Elementary School, West Jefferson Middle School, Windy Peak Outdoor Lab, Mount Evans Outdoor Lab, and the West Transportation Center. Throughout the year, comprehensive sampling (though not testing of every location) and monitoring of these sites occur to ensure compliance with all state and federal regulations.

Note: Charter schools handle their own facilities and will need to be contacted directly about this issue.

Contact Us

Environmental Services

Phone: 303-982-2349