State law encourages districts to address water quality in schools.
California Education Code 38086 Establishment and Use
(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), by July 1, 2011, a school district shall provide access to free, fresh drinking water during meal times in the food service areas of the schools under its jurisdiction, including, but not necessarily limited to, areas where reimbursable meals under the National School Lunch Program or the federal School Breakfast Program are served or consumed. A school district may comply with this section by, among other means, providing cups and containers of water or soliciting or receiving donated bottled water.
(b) The governing board of a school district may adopt a resolution stating that it is unable to comply with the requirements of this section and demonstrating the reasons why it is unable to comply due to fiscal constraints or health and safety concerns. The resolution shall be publicly noticed on at least two consecutive meeting agendas, first as an information item and second as an action item, and approved by at least a majority of the governing board.
California Education Code 38086.1 Establishment and Use
(a) The department may receive funds transferred from any available state and federal source, to be allocated by the department to school districts for the purpose of complying with the requirements of Section 38086.
(b) Subject to all laws, guidelines, policies, and criteria applicable to the funds, school districts may use funds received pursuant to subdivision (a) for water quality projects, including, but not limited to, water treatment, water facilities restructuring, water filling stations, and maintenance of water facilities.
(c) The department shall do both of the following:
- (1) Consult with the State Department of Public Health, the Department of Water Resources, and the State Water Resources Control Board to identify available sources of funding, including, but not limited to, funding from Proposition 1, approved by the voters at the November 4, 2014, statewide general election, funds for safe drinking water programs administered by the department, the State Department of Public Health, the Department of Water Resources, and the State Water Resources Control Board, other state funding, and federal funding available to fund school water quality and infrastructure.
- (2) Post the information collected pursuant to paragraph (1) on the department’s Internet Web site.
California Health and Safety Code 116276 Pure and Safe Drinking Water
(a) The state board shall establish a program, in consultation with the State Department of Education, to award grants to local educational agencies for the purposes of improving access to, and the quality of, drinking water in public schools consistent with the Legislature’s intent that school facilities be maintained in “good repair,” as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) of Section 17002 of the Education Code. Eligible entities shall be limited to local educational agencies serving kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, and preschools and child day care facilities, as defined in Section 1596.750, located on public school property. The program shall include, but not be limited to, funding for at least one of the following:
- (1) Installation of water bottle filling stations.
- (2) Installation or replacement of drinking water fountains with devices that are capable of removing contaminants that are present in the facility’s water supply.
- (3) Installation of point-of-entry or point-of-use treatment devices for drinking fountains, and up to three years of postinstallation replacement filters, and operation, maintenance, and monitoring of the devices, including training on how to operate and maintain the treatment devices and community outreach and education about their use.
(b) The state board shall implement the program by taking actions that include, but are not necessarily limited to, the development of procedures and guidelines for the submission of grant applications and criteria for the evaluation of those applications.
This document addresses testing water quality.