The sweet sound of those squeaky school bus breaks and a peaceful mid-morning silence can mean only one thing—the kids are off to school. You’ve provided them with binders and glue sticks galore, the “coolest” backpack and a nutritious lunch. But is there something else you could be doing to ensure they have a safe and successful school year? It could be as simple as a water bottle!
Schools are required by federal law to provide their students with clean drinking water. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your child is staying hydrated throughout the day. Although the initiative was supposed to provide an alternative to sugary juices and sodas, it often times equates to having to drink from a less than appealing fountain with water impurities. With its stained basin and dirty handle, more and more students are going out of their way to avoid them - even if they’re thirsty. Quite frankly, we don’t blame them.
Not only can the surface of the water fountain prove to be no better than a cesspool for various bacteria, but dangers may also be lurking in the water itself. There is currently no federal requirement for schools to test their water as long as the city meets its municipal water supply standards. That’s a very scary thought! It may pass muster at the plant, but that water has a long way to travel, through very old pipes, before it makes its way to the plumbing of your child’s school and up through the fountain.
Corrosion in piping that is leading to high levels of lead in schools across the country. The toxin is especially harmful to students and younger people because it can stunt intellectual development. As stated by the Environmental Protection Agency, action should be taken any time a level higher than 15 parts per billion (ppb) is found in a public water system or 20 ppb from a school fixture.
So what can you do?
First, check with school officials to see if a water report already exists for your school’s water. If not, try to get in touch with representatives from your school district, gather a group of concerned parents, or even contact the principal. Anything to encourage your school to have its water tested can help. Make sure they understand the importance of providing students with safe levels of contaminants—or better yet, none. Because pipe erosion happens over time, explain to them that water testing should be part of routine maintenance.
Unfortunately, this topic isn’t receiving the attention it deserves and the fight for school water testing will be an uphill battle. In the meantime, ensure that you are providing safe drinking water for your child by supplying them with a bottle or two of Eldorado Natural Spring Water as they head out the door to catch the bus. Our water is sourced from an artesian spring and has been filtered through a naturally occurring layer of sandstone. We also would like to invite you to view our water analysis page where you will see that no lead was detected in our water.
We truly hope this post helps your students have their happiest and healthiest school year yet!