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Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW) is dedicated to ensuring schools throughout our service area have safe and healthy drinking water.

Although there is no federal law requiring testing of drinking water in most schools, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has warned lead may be present at older facilities. Lead can enter water by leaching from aging plumbing materials and fixtures as water flows through a school’s distribution system. Although our drinking water meets all federal and state standards for lead when it leaves the utility, some schools still may have elevated lead levels due to the materials used in their buildings.

More information may be found here: 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools and Child Care Facilities: Revised Manual

Beginning in April 2016, GCWW formed partnerships to better ensure the health and safety of students, teachers and staff in the area’s educational facilities. In conjunction with the Cincinnati Health Department and Hamilton County Public Health, we are testing water at schools and child care facilities. We eventually plan to expand testing to other places where children spend a lot of time including restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes, churches, libraries, parks, and entertainment venues.

What does our partnership involve?  We work with the school to:


  • Verify the material of service lines providing water to the schools
  • Provide water testing kits to the schools, free of charge
  • Analyze the samples, free of charge
  • Collect follow-up samples, if needed
  • Consider follow-up samples, if needed
  • Assist with a remediation plan, if needed
  • Help address media questions regarding testing and results

See School Results


See Frequently Asked Questions below.

School FAQs Download FAQs

What has prompted a review of lead in water systems across the nation?

What has Greater Cincinnati Water Works been doing regarding the issue of lead?

Why are schools a focus?

How might a school’s students and teachers be exposed to lead?

Where can I find more information about sampling in schools?

What is GCWW doing to assist schools in determining their drinking water quality? GCWW is working proactively to educate school staff on the issue of lead in drinking water and partnering with them to assist in understanding the water quality within their facilities.

Is there a cost to the school to partner with GCWW?

Are any other partners involved?

Where should I sample in the schools?

When should I sample in the schools?

Where can I get sampling bottles?

Who can analyze the samples for me?

How long will it take to receive the sample results?

What happens if the sample results indicate detections of lead?

Will I receive my results in writing?

What will GCWW do with the sample results?

What can you expect from GCWW as your partner?

What is GCWW expecting from the school?