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Test & Fix Water for Kids at 6 to 8 Schools

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Schools serving grades 6 to 8

Public/charter schools serving grades sixth, seventh, or eighth can enroll now to complete mandatory initial lead testing during the 2023-2024 school year

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Notice

Schools serving grades 6 to 8 are mandated to sample all fixtures used for drinking or cooking for lead per the requirements for Colorado HB22-1358. Schools that are PK-8 that may only have sampled the elementary portion of their building must sample the remainder of their buildings during the 6-8 sampling phase. Please complete the proper enrollment form above to start the process for lead sampling.

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About the program: 

This site will help you understand the requirements, timelines, and process for your school or district to participate in the Test and Fix Water for Kids program. This information is specific to schools. Information is also available for family child care homes or child care centers.

The Test and Fix Water for Kids program will help your school meet the testing requirements by providing free training, testing kits, help with testing, help with understanding results, help with fixing problems and help getting repaid for any costs.

 

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Why is testing for lead important?

Testing is the only way to know whether your water contains lead. You cannot see, taste, or smell lead in drinking water. While exposure to lead can come from many sources, old or corroded lead plumbing or old brass fixtures can contribute to elevated lead levels in drinking water. Lead is associated with adverse health effects that are especially harmful to young children

What happens if I have high results?

If the results of a drinking water test show a rounded lead result of five parts per billion or higher, the program will assist you with selecting the appropriate fix to keep children from being exposed to elevated levels of lead in drinking water. 

This program will pay for you to fix problems that cause lead in water in your school. This program is free.

Need help?

We can work one-on-one with you on all of these steps. Please email waterforkids@state.co.us or call our technical assistance hotline at: 719-733-7468. Assistance is available in multiple languages.

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Your school does not need to hire outside contractors or consultants to complete this work. We have a free technical assistance team available to help you at waterforkids@state.co.us or by calling our hotline at: 719-733-7468. Costs for hiring outside sampling contractors is not a reimbursable expense under this program.

All public, charter and facility schools serving any grades sixth through eighth must sample for lead in drinking water starting September 2023. Please enroll above in the free Test and Fix Water for Kids program for sampling during the 2023-2024 school year.

Private schools are not included in this program but may use the department guidance documents to develop their own lead testing program. However, licensed child care centers that operate within private school facilities are required to test for lead in water and are eligible for free testing. This should include all taps used for drinking or preparing food within all rooms licensed under the child care center. If you represent a child care center, enrollment is not occurring at this time, however you can indicate your interest in future sampling on the child care center page.

The Test & Fix Water for Kids Program consists of several steps. We have tools and assistance for schools and school districts for each step.

If your school is affiliated with a public school district, you will not need to take any action. We will coordinate sampling with district coordinators. 

If your school is not affiliated with or your building is not managed by a public school district and your school is a public school, public charter school or facility school, please enroll above and complete the rest of the steps in the process.

We can work with you on all of these steps. Please email waterforkids@state.co.us or call our technical assistance hotline at: 719-733-7468. Assistance is available in multiple languages.  

Frequently Asked Questions: 
  1. I need one-on-one assistance.  
    Please email waterforkids@state.co.us with your name, facility name/type and Department of Education school ID. If this is an urgent matter, please call our technical assistance hotline at: 719-733-7468. 
  2. Are all schools required to test for lead through the Test and Fix Water for Kids program?
    All public, charter and facility schools serving any grades preschool through fifth were required to sample for lead in drinking water by May 31, 2023. All public, charter and facility schools serving any grades sixth to eighth are required to sample for lead in drinking water starting in September 2023. An easy way to do this is to participate in the free Test and Fix Water for Kids program.
  3. What schools are not required to participate in the program?
    • Private schools are not included in this program but may use the department guidance documents to develop their own lead testing program.

    • Facilities classified as public water systems are highly encouraged to participate in this program but can opt out if they comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act Lead and Copper Rule. A facility that is classified as a public water system will have its own water source (well, spring, or water intake from a river, stream, or lake) and its own treatment plant onsite and does not receive a water bill from another water provider. If this is the case, please email waterforkids@state.co.us and we can find your public water system identification number. An advantage of testing under this program is that testing at ALL drinking water sources is free, and any required remediation is also free.

  4. What happens if testing does not occur in my school(s)? 
    The department has a list of all schools in Colorado. If a school serving any grades preschool through fifth required to test under the law did not complete testing by May 31, 2023, the school has been listed as non-compliant in a report to the Colorado Legislature. However non-compliant PK-5 schools may return to compliance by enrolling above and sampling  during the 2023-2024 school year.  Schools serving any grades sixth to eighth that do not complete testing by November 30, 2024 will be reported as non-compliant in a report to the Colorado Legislature. Sampling early in the process is encouraged so that actions can be completed in a timely manner.
  5. Are middle and high schools required to test for lead under the Test and Fix Water for Kids program?  
    Schools serving sixth, seventh and eighth grades are required to test with a deadline of November 30, 2024. High schools are currently not mandated to sample, however they may be added by the Colorado Legislature to future sampling requirements.
  6. Is my school required to hire a contractor to complete the requirements of the Test and Fix Water for Kids program?
    No! We have created tools, guidance and sampling kits. The department has a dedicated technical assistance provider available to assist schools and child care facilities with sampling plan development, sampling, interpretation of results, and next steps for remediation. This means free technical assistance is available for your school. Colorado Rural Water Association is the technical assistance contractor and can be reached at 719-733-7468 or at waterforkids@state.co.us If your school decides to contract with other firms, the associated costs will not be reimbursable under this program, and schools will have to incur those costs. Additionally, any outside contractor will be required to use the department’s sampling plan tools, guidance, data formatting and online process to manage results.
     
  7. My town/municipal water supplier already takes samples in my school for lead and copper. Do I still need to participate?
    Yes, you need to participate. Testing the water in your school for the Colorado Primary Drinking Water Regulations is different from testing in this program. The testing performed by the water provider is to see if the water in your building generally has lead. The testing in this program is to identify whether individual fixtures in the school contribute to elevated lead levels and to provide reimbursement for costs to reduce lead exposure.
  8. What if I have already conducted lead sampling?
    Lead testing conducted prior to the start of the Test & Fix Water for Kids Program (August 2022) will not be accepted for compliance with middle school testing. If you did collect lead testing data outside of the Test & Fix Water for Kids Program since August 2022, please email waterforkids@state.co.us for further information.

The next step is to create a drinking water sampling plan for your school(s). The goal is to collect water samples from all plumbing fixtures used for drinking water or cooking.  

Sampling plan process: 

After you have completed your middle school enrollment using the buttons above, you will receive an email from waterforkids.state.co.us containing a link to an online sampling plan tool specifically for schools. This viewable and downloadable sampling plan guidance document for schools will help you get started. If you need assistance accessing this document, please call 719-733-7468.

  • To begin, you will need a floor plan map of your building(s) and should have conducted a walk-through to identify drinking water and cooking water taps. The floor plan can be a basic plan such as your emergency evacuation map. It does not need to be an official architectural plan. 
  • Mark the locations of drinking water and cooking water taps on your floor plan map using the following codes:

                                DW    Drinking water fountain
                                WB    Water bottle filler
                                KF    Kitchen faucet
                                KR    Kitchen refrigerator
                                IM    Ice machine
                                CF    Classroom faucet
                                NS    Nurse office sink
                                BF    Bathroom faucet
                                KK    Commercial kitchen kettle
                                OT    Other 

  • Be ready to verify address information and to answer questions about your facility: number of floors/regions, what type of fixtures are within your facility and any water filters. 
  • Click on the link to the online sampling tool provided to you in an email. If you need access to the sampling tool and have not received an email, please email waterforkids@state.co.us and we will assist you.
  • If you already have a list of sample locations in order, identified by location type and description you can alternatively submit your sampling plan as a spreadsheet using this template.

If you need any help with the online tool or have questions about the guidance document, please contact 719-733-7468 or waterforkids@state.co.us

After you complete the online sampling plan tool, our technical assistance team will review your sampling plan and submit your bottle order. The bottle order is automatically sent to the state laboratory, which will prepare a sampling kit for each facility with a pre-labeled chain of custody, pre-labeled bottle labels, sampling instructions and the exact number of bottles you will need. The sampling kit will be sent to your shipping address with an individual kit for each facility. Each kit will come with a prepaid shipping label to return the bottles. You will receive an email with a sampling plan summary and verification that your bottle order was submitted.

Frequently Asked Questions:
  1. Where should I sample for lead? 
    Our online sampling plan tool is available to help each school coordinator determine their sample locations and label the sample locations in a consistent manner. In general, a walk-through of the facility will help determine the location of the service line and all water sources used for consumption. During sampling, the sampler must begin at the water tap location closest to the service line and work away and upward (if your facility has multiple floors). Please reference the training materials and sampling plan tool when you are ready to begin sampling. If you need help at any time our technical assistance team will be available to answer your questions. 
  2. Which sinks/faucets do I need to test? 
    You only need to test water sources used for drinking or cooking. In general, consumption of water from classroom and bathroom sinks is not recommended and these taps should be designated as hand washing locations only. (The program has free signs available for you to post at these locations. Email waterforkids@state.co.us if you need signs.) Sampling should be conducted only at faucets where there is a reasonable expectation that children will be drinking or at faucets where water is used for preparing food for children. Unless your facility actively encourages and expects children to fill water bottles or cups at a classroom or bathroom sink, these sinks do not need to be included for sampling. 

  3. How many samples will be collected at each facility?
    You must test all water sources that are reasonably used for drinking or cooking (for example, drinking fountains, kitchen sinks, etc.). Total samples can range from less than 10 to 80, depending on the size of the facility. The department has easy sampling instructions and a sampling plan tool for facilities to determine where to sample. If a water station or sink has more than one faucet used for drinking, each faucet should be sampled and be designated a separate sampling location.

  4. What if some of my water sources (for example, fridge water dispenser) are already being filtered for lead.  Do I still need to test these sources? 
    Yes, all drinking water sources need to be tested for lead. The online sampling plan tool will ask for you to mark which drinking water sources are filtered.

  5. How should we inform parents and other stakeholders that we intend to test our water for lead? 
    A downloadable letter template is available to inform parents/guardians and employees of planned sampling activities. It is also available to download in Spanish.

  6. I tested my facility’s water for lead before. Do I need to do it again? 
    Data collected before the start of the Test & Fix Program in August 2022 does not meet the requirements of the bill. You must participate in this free program. You may use your old sampling plans to help identify where to retest all locations used for drinking and/or cooking in the sampling plan tool.

  7. Our facility uses purchased bottled water. Do we need to test? 
    The intent of the bill is to test plumbed taps that could be used for drinking or cooking. There is no exemption for providers who use bottled water. If a tap tests high for lead, you may choose to put up signage that states that the tap is not to be used for drinking or preparing food. All of the supplies, training and sample analyses are free. Costs to replace faucets or to purchase filtration systems are reimbursable under this program. Do not test the purchased bottled water under this program.

  8. Do I need to test the commercial steamers in my kitchen?
    No, steam does not contain metals, including lead. There is no way for metals in water to enter steam, so steamers do not need to be tested.

Sampling for lead is as simple as filling up bottles in order of the sampling locations you selected in your sampling plan, and shipping the bottles back to the laboratory. You will receive a lead sampling test kit with instructions within three weeks after filling out the online sampling plan tool. The kit will include everything you need to sample lead: 250 mL sampling bottles in a plastic bag, sample labels, laboratory chain of custody form, sampling instructions and return shipping label. No special equipment is required. 

You want to take samples of water that have been sitting in the pipes overnight at each faucet. To do that, you need to make sure the water has not recently been moving around in the school's pipes. For that reason, please choose a day and time to sample when the water anywhere in the facility has not been used for 8-18 hours. It should not be after a vacation or a time when the water has been sitting for longer than 18 hours. It should be on a day when normal school activities happened the day before. Sampling on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday early in the morning before anyone uses the water is the best time to sample.

Sampling Instructions:
  1. Open the sampling kit box (do not use a knife because that may cut the bag inside).
  2. Remove the plastic bag containing the bottles, the bottle labels, the sampling instructions, the return shipping label, and the laboratory chain of custody form.
  3. Look at the chain of custody form. Does it list all your sampling locations? If not, email waterforkids@state.co.us so we can get you what you need.
  4. Look at your bottle labels. Is there a bottle label for each sampling location? If not, email waterforkids@state.co.us so we can get you what you need.
  5. Carefully remove the bottles from the plastic bag (do not tear the bag). Do you have a bottle for each sampling location? If not, email waterforkids@state.co.us so we can get you what you need.
  6. Put the plastic bag and the return shipping label in the box and save the box.
  7. Pick a day to sample. Confirm with the facility staff that no early morning activities are occurring that day.
  8. On the night before you plan to sample, put your bottles, labels, chain of custody form, and a pen or pencil somewhere where you can easily use them in the morning.
  9. In the morning you are taking samples, start with the sampling location that is FIRST on the chain of custody. 
    Go to the first faucet. Open the sampling bottle and save the cap. WITHOUT turning on the water, hold the bottle under 
    the faucet. Making sure that the water faucet is set to COLD water, gently turn on the faucet and catch the water in the bottle. Turn off the water when the bottle is almost full. Put the cap on the bottle and close it tightly.
  10. Look at the chain of custody. On the line for that sample location, enter the DATE and TIME you collected the sample. Put the label on the sample bottle that matches that sample location.
  11. Go to the following sample location and repeat these steps.
  12. When you are done sampling, bring all your bottles and the chain of custody form back to one spot. Look at your chain of custody form. Did you fill in a DATE and a TIME for each sample collected? Are all your bottles labeled? Do you have a full water sample bottle for each location?
  13. Look at the chain of custody form. Make sure it is filled out according to this guidance. There is a place for you to sign the form. Sign the form and put the form in the box. NOTE: THIS FORM MUST BE IN THE BOX FOR YOUR SAMPLES TO BE ANALYZED!
  14. Take the plastic bag out of the box. Place the full bottles in the plastic bag and pull the drawstring to close the bag. Put the bag of bottles in the box.
  15. Close the box with tape. Take the return shipping label and stick it on the box over the top of the other label.
  16. To return your water samples, you can do one of the following:
    • Drop off your FedEx package at a FedEx location or a FedEx drop box. Click here to find the closest location to you.
    • Call FedEx at 800-463-3339 to schedule a pickup at your location.
    • Request assistance from our technical assistance provider at 719-733-7468 to help you schedule a FedEx pickup.

The State of Colorado will analyze your samples for free. It may take up to two months to receive results. The Test and Fix Water for Kids website will post all lead results, and the department will send you an email with your results. After you receive your results, our technical assistance provider will contact you to review the results and discuss next steps.

Special Circumstances:
  • Kitchen kettles have a specific set of sampling instructions found here.
  • There is no need to test steamers: steam does not contain metals, including lead. There is no way for metals in water to enter steam, so steamers do not need to be tested. If you included a steamer on your list of fixtures to test, please return the empty bottle and note that no test is needed on the chain of custody notes.
  • Drinking fountains that have been turned off since COVID-19 need to be sampled. Please turn on these fountains and include them in your sampling. If elevated results are returned, we can replace those fountains with bottle filling stations.
  • Fixtures that are broken should be noted on the chain of custody form. If you plan to repair those fixtures and use them for drinking, please note that. If you plan to permanently remove that fixture, please note that.
  • Ice machines can be sampled by collecting ice in a plastic container, letting the ice melt, and then pouring the water into the sample bottle. It is important to fill the sampling bottle up as much as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions:
  1. How long will it take to test my water?
    The sampling process is simple. You can usually complete all initial samples for an elementary school in less than 2 hours. Samples must be collected in the morning before any water has been used. Please note, it may take up to two months for labs to analyze the samples. 
  2. When should I sample for lead?
    Our training and technical guidance will walk you through the details of lead sampling. We will ask you to take samples first thing in the morning following a normal day of operation. You will need to ensure the sample represents water that has been stagnant between 8-18 hours. This means all water in the building, not just the faucets where you are sampling. As a result, we recommend sampling on a day between Tuesday-Saturday within the hours of 5:30-7:30 a.m., before anyone has used the water, and avoid sampling after vacations. It is a good practice to let people who might be in the building before you begin testing to warn them and/or leave signs at water faucets. Do not flush toilets first thing in the morning until AFTER you have collected samples. If someone accidentally uses the water, sample on another day.

  3. What are the deadlines?
    For schools serving any of grades sixth to eighth, November 30, 2024 is the mandated deadline to test your drinking and cooking water fixtures. We recommend that you act early to complete sampling during the 2023-2024 school year.

  4. Can we sample our water or do we have to have a “professional” collect samples?
    You do not need a professional to sample your water for you. It is as easy as filling a plastic bottle with cold water under each faucet you use for drinking/cooking. Our online sampling plan tool will help you determine where to test and automatically create a sampling plan for you. 

  5. Where do I submit my water samples? 
    The state laboratory will provide sampling kits to participating entities at no cost. These sampling kits will include a prepaid FedEx label for returning the samples to the laboratory. To return your water samples, you can do one of the following:

    • Drop off your FedEx package at a FedEx location or a FedEx drop box. Click here to find the closest location to you.

    • Call FedEx at 800-463-3339 to schedule a pickup at your location.

    • Request assistance from our technical assistance provider at 719-733-7468 to help you schedule a FedEx pickup.

  6. Do we need special equipment to collect the water sample? 
    No, if you choose to use the state laboratory for testing, the lab will ship a complete sampling kit to you at no cost. 

  7. How long does it take to get back lead results from water testing? 
    It can take up to two months to receive results from the state laboratory after receiving your samples. 

  8. Do I have to use the free sampling kits and lead analysis at the state laboratory? 
    No, if you do not want to use the state laboratory services, you may use any lab certified in Colorado to analyze for lead in drinking water. If you do not use the state laboratory, you will have to coordinate bottle orders, shipments, and data reporting with the other lab, will have to pay for sampling upfront, and will have to submit receipts to the department for reimbursement of laboratory analysis costs.

    After the lead results come back:

    You will receive an email with a summary of your lead results, an explanation of the lead testing results and the next steps for your facility, and information about blood lead testing. The email will come from waterforkids@state.co.us. An example of this email is found here. You must give these results to your employees and parents/guardians within two business days of receiving the results. The email is in both English and Spanish. If you need information in another language, you can request it when you receive the results. The Test and Fix Water for Kids results webpage will have a detailed list of your results.

    If lead results are less than 5 parts per billion (ppb) (4.4 ppb and below):

    If all your results are less than 5 parts per billion (ppb), you do not need to take further action after reporting the results to your employees and parents/guardians.  

    This program is a one-time screening for all drinking water sources. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that you complete regular periodic lead testing, but this will not be covered under the current Test and Fix Water for Kids program. You can still take easy steps to further reduce lead (see FAQ 3 below).

    If lead results are 5 ppb or above (4.5 ppb and above):

    Our technical assistance team will reach out to you if any of your results are equal to or greater than 5 parts per billion (ppb). They will cover the next steps with you. First you need to immediately stop using the water at that sampling location for drinking or cooking. You can continue to wash hands and dishes. DO NOT boil your water to remove lead. Boiling water does not remove lead from water. Please do not begin fixing this location until you receive next steps from our technical assistance team. If you have questions, please call us at 719-733-7468.

    See Step 5 for more information.

    Frequently Asked Questions:
    1. What is done with my test results?  
      The department will provide all results publicly on the Test and Fix Water for Kids webpage within 30 days of receiving results. These results will be shared in a report back to legislators.
    2. Do I need to notify the parents of the children in my school? 
      Yes, you will be required to notify the parents of the children in your school. A template letter summarizing results (click here to view an example) will be available for you to share with parents/guardians. It is required to share the information in this letter with parents/ guardians within two days of receiving the lead test results. This letter is required under the program. In addition, the department will provide all results publicly on the Test and Fix Water for Kids webpage within 30 days of receiving results.

    3. What can we do to reduce lead in water?
      If lead is detected in concentrations less than 5 ppb, the Environmental Protection Agency's 3Ts lead testing guidance recommends the following steps to further reduce exposure to lead:

      • Periodic flushing (moving water through the pipes) after long periods of low or no usage (weekends and breaks). This can be accomplished by running taps furthest from the incoming water line until the cold water changes in temperature.

      • Use cold water only (especially when boiling water or preparing baby formula).

      • Regularly clean your faucet aerator or screen to remove lead particles that can build up.

      • Change filters in drinking water fountains and other locations according to manufacturer recommendations.

    4. If I test and pass, is that all I have to do?  Will I have to test yearly?
      The law is written as a one-time screening for all drinking water sources. Regular lead testing every 3-5 years is recommended in the EPA 3Ts lead testing guidance, but will not be covered under the current Test and Fix Water for Kids program.

    5. What does ppb mean? 
      The units describing the lead concentrations in your water can vary across labs. To show how much lead is in water, it is described as the weight of lead in a certain volume of water. You can think of this as a grain of sand in a one-liter water bottle. That would be expressed as 1 milligram of sand in 1 liter of water, or 1 mg/L. This is also the same as saying there is 1 part of sand per 1 million parts of water, or 1 part per million (1 ppm). 1 mg/L equals 1 ppm.

      Since lead is typically present in water at very low levels, the labs may provide data in smaller units. 1 microgram is equal to 1000 milligrams. If you had 1 grain of sand in 1000 liters (that would be 200 bathtubs of water), this would be expressed as 1 microgram per liter. Micrograms are abbreviated as ug. So 1 microgram per liter is written as 1 ug/L. This is also the same as saying there is one part of sand per 1 billion parts of water, or 1 ppb (ppb). 1 ug/L equals 1 ppb.

      Typically your results will be in milligrams per liter (mg/L) (ppm) or micrograms per liter (µg/L) (ppb). The bill requires that child care facilities and schools must mitigate any drinking water source if lead is detected at or above 5 ppb, or 0.005 ppm.

    6. How is a result of less than 5 ppb considered to be equal to 5 ppb?  
      The results from the state laboratory or any lab you use may come with more than one reported digit. For example, 0.0045 ppm, or 4.5 ppb. These decimal points are rounded to the closest whole number for determining if actions are needed. This means any result at 4.5 ppb or greater will be recognized as equal to or above 5 ppb. 
      An example of this is as follows: 

      • 4.5 ppb rounds to 5 ppb = action required

      • 4.4 ppb rounds to 4 ppb = action not required

    If the lead results from any drinking water or consumption taps are 5 parts per billion (ppb) or greater, then as soon as you receive your results you must:
    • Stop using any taps for drinking or cooking that have tested for lead at or above 5 ppb. Use a different tap for drinking and cooking.

    • Notify parents and staff of the lead sampling results and the fact that you have stopped using locations that tested at or above 5 ppb lead.

    • Start working on a remediation plan for each fixture with lead results at or above 5 ppb. See action plan development and options below. 

     

    Action plan development: 

    Each tap with a lead result above 5 ppb must have an action plan. Our technical assistance provider will reach out to assist with  developing an action plan for each of these taps.

    • The first step is to collect a secondary flush sample at these locations. Our technical assistance provider will arrange for additional sampling bottles to be sent to you and will provide you instructions on how to take secondary flush samples. A secondary flush sample is a sample that is collected after the faucet has been running for 30 seconds. The purpose of the secondary flush sample is to collect water in the pipes connected to the faucet so that you can know whether it is the faucet or the pipes that are causing the elevated lead levels.
    • The next step after you receive your flush results is to develop an action plan outlining what you plan to do at each faucet or tap with a lead result over 5 ppb. This plan must be submitted to the department within 30 days of receiving lead results. You can use the decision chart here to plan actions for sinks.
    • Our technical assistance provider will send you the form needed for this action plan. It will ask for you to choose your planned fix (see examples below), enter the expected costs, and sign off with your initials.DO NOT begin your remedial action and fixes until your remediation form has been approved.

    Possible options to reduce lead include: 

    • Cleaning the faucet aerator/ screen if applicable and re-testing.

    • Replacing the faucet if the initial first draw sample is at or above 5 ppb of lead and the flush sample is below 5 ppb of lead. 
    • Replacing the immediate plumbing (pipe/solder, valves) under the sink if the initial first draw and flush sample are both at or above 5 ppb of lead.

    • Installing point-of-use filters if the faucet or plumbing replacements will not reduce lead results below 4.5 ppb. 
    • Removing the fixture if it is not needed and other acceptable drinking water sources are available nearby.
    Action plan acceptance and remediation actions: 

    The action plan will provide a total cost not to be exceeded based on standard costs to perform remedial actions according to the list below. You will be asked to provide your estimate of costs to complete your actions. If your cost estimates (labor and materials) exceed the total cost not to exceed, you will be required to provide documentation to justify your costs before your plan can be approved.

    The department or our technical assistance provider will notify you if your action plan has been accepted or if additional information is needed. After acceptance, you may proceed with your plan and submit receipts to the state so you can be repaid. See payment section below for more information. 

    Approval of an Action Plan by the department is approval of the  remediation steps for each fixture and an acknowledgment of the estimated costs not to exceed as proposed by the party doing the remediation. It is not a guarantee of payment or a contract for payment of a specific sum. Payments of invoices will be based on receipts for actual costs incurred. Please note that actual costs of materials with receipts is required. Markup on materials will not be permitted. Labor costs need to be substantiated with invoices from contractors with a description of the work performed, and the cost breakdown. In-house labor will be reimbursed based on Davis-Bacon wages for the county where work is performed and an estimate of standard hours per job.

    Any actions, such as faucet replacement, must be completed within 90 days of receiving lead results. To confirm that the action is successful at lowering lead levels below 5 ppb, another lead water sample called a confirmation sample is required 90 days after the action is complete

    • Repayment requests will not be processed until the confirmation sample results are received.

    • If the action is not successful at reducing lead below 5 ppb, a point-of-use filter will be recommended in the situation where fixture and immediate plumbing replacements do not resolve the lead issue. 
    • If the action includes filter replacement, then you must maintain records for at least five years to track filter replacement activities as required by the manufacturer's instructions.
    Frequently Asked Questions:
    1. How do we determine the source of lead?
      Our sampling guidance outlines a two-step sampling plan as a best practice to determine potential lead sources. The initial first-draw sample represents water in contact with the fixture and upstream plumbing. A secondary flush sample represents water in contact with the interior plumbing. If lead is in the first-draw sample but not in the flush sample, the fixture is the likely source. If lead is in both samples, the source likely is upstream and in the fixture. Our training guidance and technical assistance team will help you determine the best remediation response. The Environmental Protection Agency's 3Ts guidance provides further information for reducing lead in drinking water. 

    Repayment costs and process: 

    The state will repay costs for fixing drinking water or consumption sources with lead levels at or above 5 ppb. 

    The program will reimburse for the following expenses (estimated not-to-exceed values are shown in parentheses):

    • Lead analysis from a certified laboratory that is not the state laboratory. (at cost - typically around $22 per sample)
    • Permanent signage for designating taps not for drinking. (free)
    • Fixture/ Faucet replacement. ($500)
    • Replace aerator. ($30)
    • Removal of fixtures. ($150)
    • Replacement of plumbing (pipes, solder, valves in the vicinity of the fixture). ($500)
    • Installation of point of use filter device and two years of filter replacement.($300)
    • Replacement filters: Up to two years of replacement filters for any filters that are installed under the Test and Fix Program or identified as not removing lead sufficiently during testing under the program. ($110)
    • Drinking water fountain replacement. ($1,850)
    • Bottle filling stations. ($2,450)

    The program will NOT reimburse for the following expenses:

    • Lead service line replacement.
    • Actions or fixes at taps with less than 5 ppb of lead.
    • Actions, fixes, or sampling costs prior to August 11, 2022.
    • Actions, fixes, or sampling costs that were repaid under another grant program.
    • Contractor labor to sample or develop sampling plans (already provided through the department’s technical assistance contractor).
    Confirmation Samples:

    For locations where aerators have been cleaned, filters have been replaced, faucets have been replaced, or filters have been installed, a confirmation sample is required to verify that the remediation has successfully lowered the level of lead below 4.5 ppb. Our technical assistance team will send you confirmation sampling bottles upon approval of your action plan. Please save these bottles until your actions are complete, and then collect samples using the confirmation sampling guidance.

    If new fixtures have been installed, they will need to go through a “break in” period so that the water can equilibrate with the new faucet material. To break in a new fixture, flush it once per day for 30 seconds and let it sit overnight every day for five days. Do not collect a confirmation sample until you have broken in the new fixture. 

    Even if new fixtures were not installed, since these locations have likely not been used for several months, please make sure to flush these faucets the day before you collect confirmation samples. Reimbursement requests will not be processed until confirmation sample results have been received.

    Pay Request Processing:
    • Once you are ready to submit for reimbursement, please contact waterforkids@state.co.us to request a pay request form.
    • Payments of pay requests will be based on receipts for actual costs incurred. Please note that actual costs of materials with receipts is required. Markup on materials will not be permitted. Labor costs need to be substantiated with invoices from contractors with a description of the work performed, and the cost breakdown. In-house labor will be reimbursed based on Davis-Bacon wages for the county where work is performed and an estimate of standard hours per job.