What GCWW Is Doing For Schools

Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW) is taking additional, proactive and precautionary measures to understand water quality in schools. There is no federal law requiring testing in drinking water in schools, except for schools that have their own water supply and are regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). As shared by USEPA in the 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools and Child Care Facilities: Revised Manual lead most frequently enters drinking water by leaching from plumbing materials and fixtures as water moves through the school’s distribution system. Although the drinking water received from the water supplier meets federal and state standards for lead, the facility may have elevated lead levels due to plumbing materials and water-use patterns.
GCWW began working with schools in April 2016 to ensure the health and safety of students, teachers and staff members in schools; they first formed a partnership with the Cincinnati Health Department and Hamilton County Public Health to help “get the lead out” in the Cincinnati area. Together, we are working with special groups such as schools and day cares with plans to include restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes, churches, libraries, parks and entertainment venues to understand the water quality of facilities where children spend ample time.

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

  • Explain our records of service lines providing water to the schools
  • Verify the actual service lines
  •  Share a copy of the recommended USEPA 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools and Child Care Facilities: Revised Manual (3Ts guidelines)
  • Provide sample kits to the schools
  • Analyze the samples, free of charge
  • Discuss the results in detail
  • Consider follow-up samples, if needed
  • Offer assistance with a remediation plan, if needed
  • Assist with creating a communications plan for the school community
  • Post results of testing for the school on our website
  • 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?