Water Testing FAQs
Is the water at my school safe?
Water for Poway Unified schools is provided by the City of Poway, the City of San Diego, and Olivenhain Municipal Water District. As water providers, they are required to comply with state and federal regulations and, as such, conduct numerous water quality tests and produce related reports. The standards of quality for the water they provide are extremely high.
The testing we are requesting at our school sites is in addition to regular water quality testing conducted by our water agencies throughout their distribution system.
Who is doing the testing?
The City of Poway, the City of San Diego, and Olivenhain Municipal Water District
Will all school sites be tested?
Although there are no regulations that require public schools to test drinking water, we are developing a plan with our water providers to test all school sites throughout the District to ensure we are continuing to provide safe drinking water to our students and staff.
The water testing in PUSD is beginning on May 16, 2017, in partnership with the City of Poway. It is anticipated that the testing at school sites with water service from the City of Poway will be completed by mid-June.
The District will also be requesting lead testing for our schools served by the City of San Diego and Olivenhain Municipal Water District. Once the official request is made, water providers have 90 days to respond. Testing requirements state that all water testing must occur during the school year. As a result, water testing will pause during the summer months, and resume in Fall 2017. School districts have until November 1, 2019 to request testing from public water providers.
If at any time in the future we discover unsafe levels, we will notify families and staff and begin appropriate remediation work.
What is considered allowable test results?
The current standards were developed and implemented by the United States EPA in 1991. The standards state that the Action Level (AL) for lead is 15 ug/L. This is defined to mean "micrograms per liter" or "parts per billion". One part per billion is equivalent to about one drop in an Olympic-sized swimming pool. The Department of Drinking Water regulations state that any results at 15 ug/L or less are below Action Level.
What will the District do if a test comes back positive for lead?
The District will conduct additional water tests, stop using the water in question, and begin repairing or replacing the water line in question, and re-test the water before it is put back in service; or if multiple water sources on a campus are in question, deliver bottled drinking water to our students and staff until the problem isresolved.
Are students, staff, and families at risk?
We have not received any reports from students or staff of any symptoms or sickness typically associated with lead in the drinking water. Generally, health concerns most often are an issue when a person has consumed contaminated water over a long period of time. We encourage any family member with concerns to contact their physician and/or their pediatrician. You can also contact the California Department of Public Health - Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at 619-692-8487.