Geological Research at the IGS

Planning, coordination, and training associated with lead sampling activities in schools

Status Start Date End Date Locations
Active May 1, 2017 Dec 31, 2018 All Counties
Director: Sally Letsinger
Other Researchers: Robert Autio, Tisa Bowden, Tracy Branam, Richard Hill IDEM, outside contractor, IFA
Funding: Indiana Finance Authority
Issue: The state of Indiana has an objective to test the drinking water of all public school buildings for the presence of lead, to interested schools and school districts. Because lead can enter the drinking water distribution system through the corrosion of a variety of plumbing materials (pipes, fittings, fixtures, solder, and flux), it is important to identify potential problems at the fixture level under normal water?use conditions (i.e., when schools are in session). A secondary issue is the need to characterize and understand the water chemistry that feeds the water-distribution system of schools to evaluate the potential for pipe or fixture corrosivity from that water. Current methods to identify problems are implemented through the Lead and Copper Rule (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, (https://www.epa.gov/dwreginfo/lead-and-copper-rule), which provides guidance to systems that find lead exceedances in their lead analyses, but does not offer any method to predict systems that might develop a problem over time from the water supply itself.
Objective: The objective is to provide comprehensive planning, coordination, and sampling services for all schools that express interest and participate in the Indiana school water sampling program.
Approach: The primary approach includes: - education/training - planning/coordination - water sampling - data analysis - communicating results
Products: Products include sample collection and data analysis of lead in drinking water systems of Indiana schools at the fixture level.
Benefits: Lead in drinking water supplies, especially for sensitive communities such as children, is a public health issue. This program will provide the state with information to address any issues identified by the sampling results and allow schools to quickly resolve any problems.

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