West Sacramento, Calif. – Recently the California State Water Board mandated that local water districts provide free water testing for lead contamination at the point of use in California schools—when the school requests it. Lead in drinking water is serious, but schools have options to mitigate contamination, including access to technical assistance and funding.

Drinking water advocates developed a step-by-step process for schools to provide safe drinking water to students, available at http://www.rcac.org/environmental/agua4all/lead-free-drinking-water-ca-schools/

“We have a number of resources available to schools that test positive for lead contamination in their water. Local water agencies and our technical assistance providers can answer questions and help schools determine the best route to provide safe water to their students,” said Stanley Keasling, RCAC’s Chief Executive Officer. “The important thing is to act now to test water and protect students from the risks of lead exposure.”

Adequate hydration is critical to children’s overall health and development, and state law requires school districts to provide access to free, fresh drinking water during mealtimes. However, if the available water is contaminated, children should not drink it.

Founded in 1978, RCAC provides training, technical and financial resources and advocacy so rural communities can achieve their goals and visions. RCAC serves rural communities in 13 western states and the Pacific islands. RCAC provides a broad range of community and economic development services and lending to support local efforts. To find out more about RCAC, visit www.rcac.org.

Contact: Julia Helmreich, Director, Communications, Development & Events
(916) 447-9832 ext. 1008
jhelmreich@rcac.org