Water Quality

This webpage is a source of information and testing data as part of the Arlington Public Schools (APS) commitment to ensure that safe drinking water is provided to all users at all APS facilities. The APS monitoring and testing efforts are conducted in collaboration with the Arlington County Department of Environmental Services: Water, Sewers and Streets Bureau, and APS keeps staff in the Arlington Public Health Division informed about all testing and results.


June 2019

The maintenance department has just completed the 2019 Lead-in-Water testing per the advertised 3-year testing cycle. We are pleased to report that the majority of tests came back ND (None Detected) with a few returning very low traces. All are well below the ‘actionable’ level of 15 PPB.


June 2018

Facilities and Operations Maintenance staff are pleased to share the Lead-in-Water annual test results for June, 2018. This result was obtained from the second batch of buildings from our three-year testing cycle for all APS buildings. Fortunately the vast majority of lead testing resulted in ‘None Detected’ (ND) with a handful of buildings showing minuscule traces found, which were well below actionable levels.


June 2017

Most recent lead in water test results: Lead in Water Test Results – June 2017


May 2016

Ongoing future water testing schedule, by school: Lead Testing – Future Schedule


October 25, 2016

APS has now completed water testing and remediation at Jamestown Elementary. See test results as of Oct. 25, 2016


September 14, 2016

Helpful resources for parents about water quality and lead concentrations:


August 29, 2016

APS has now completed additional water testing at the majority of our facilities.  See test results as of Sep. 1, 2016

Any fixtures with actionable test results have already been disabled and will be replaced and the location retested prior to coming back on line. If the retest indicates a problem beyond the fixture, that will be further investigated until satisfactorily corrected. Updates will be posted here.

Towards the end of this school year, all APS buildings will be placed into a regular rotation schedule for water testing every three years as part of our regular water monitoring efforts, with one third of all Arlington schools being tested annually. A detailed schedule for that will be posted online later this year, and each year’s testing results will also be available online after the testing for that year has been completed.

We would like to thank our colleagues in the Arlington County, Environmental Services and Public Health Division, as well as our own Maintenance team for their hard work and cooperation to help resolve this problem quickly so we can keep our full attention on preparing for the start of a new year of student learning in September.


August 18, 2016

Following the APS decision to conduct water testing for lead content across all of our buildings, staff engaged an environmental consultant – ECS Mid-Atlantic – to conduct the water tests for APS and to collate all of the results.

ECS was asked to conduct initial tests at three locations in each APS facility to include the main kitchen supply, a drinking fountain and one other random location. ECS was also instructed to strictly adhere to EPA guidelines as presented in the latest version of the ‘3TS’ document. Both APS and ECS also referenced the American Water Works Association’s “Assisting Schools and Child Care Facilities in Addressing Lead in Drinking Water” for additional tips on best practice where no definitive rules exist. The results of that round of testing were posted on the APS web page on Wed, Aug. 17, 2016, which included the one ‘actionable’ reading at Jamestown Elementary School.

As a follow-up to the one reading at Jamestown, APS asked the consultants to test every cold water faucet and drinking fountain in the building.  Based on the follow-up results, APS staff has already started doing appropriate remediation where indicated. See the Jamestown test results

In consultation with staff in the Arlington County Public Health Division and the County’s Water, Sewer and Streets Bureau, APS decided to test every drinking fountain in every APS building as an added precaution. That process is well underway and will be completed before the September 6 start of school.  All results will be posted on this web page as they become available, along with details of any further remedial action taken in response to these results.


August 16, 2016

Recent press coverage about lead in drinking water at schools and cities around the nation has elevated public concern over this issue. Arlington County’s water system is regularly monitored and meets all state and federal drinking water standards. Although all water fountains and kitchen water sources used for cooking in Arlington Public Schools (APS) were tested and remediated where necessary in 2004, as a precaution, APS tested three water samples at every school facility this summer.  All of the sample test results were below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as the lower Virginia Department of Health (VDH) standards (15 parts per billion or lower) in all locations tested, except for one location at Jamestown Elementary School.  Further steps are being taken at Jamestown to replace a drinking fountain and some fixtures in the oldest part of the school.

View Summary of Test Results

Next Steps
August 16, 2016:  Given the results of this recent sampling, staff believes that the drinking water in APS schools are below the VDH and EPA recommended levels for lead. However, to ensure the continued safety of our students and staff, APS is currently performing tests of all drinking fountains in our facilities before the start of school in September. If the test results identify any water fountain above approved levels, the water will be turned off immediately at that location, the fixture or plumbing will be replaced, and the fixture will not be turned on again until it is retested with results in the approved range. In those school locations, bottled water will be provided if necessary.

Future Testing Program
August 16, 2016: To align the APS operations with the County’s practice of testing the public water supply every three years, APS announced that the school division will implement a plan to test water fountains and kitchen water supply sources in one third of our school facilities on a three-year rolling rotation. Water fountains and kitchen water sources in new or renovated facilities will be tested before occupancy, and thereafter will be part of the standard three-year rotation.

 

Contact Information

APS

Arlington Public Schools Maintenance Services
703-228-6617
james.meikle@apsva.us

Arlington County

Water & Sewer Emergencies : 703-228-6555 (24-hour hotline)
Report Stream Pollution, Spills or Illegal Dumping : 703-558-2222


Useful Links: