State law requires districts to address water quality in schools.
216-RICR-20-10-4.38 Water Supply.
A. Each school building must be furnished with an adequate supply of potable water in accordance with the Standard set forth in the rules and regulations pertaining to Public Drinking Water.
- Potable water shall be supplied to all food service areas, lavatories, janitorial and shower areas.
- An adequate supply of potable drinking water must be available for consumption through a sufficient number of well-maintained and accessible sources and in accordance with the Building Code Standard Committee "RISBC-3 Rhode Island Plumbing Code."
B. A community water system shall be used as the source of supply where available.
- Where a community water system is unavailable the water supply system utilized by the school must meet the requirements of R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 46-13, 23-65, and the "Rules and Regulations Pertaining to the Certification of Public Drinking Water Supply Treatment and Public Water Supply Transmission and Distribution Operators".
C. All proposed school water systems or proposed alterations to existing school water systems shall be approved by the RIDOH.
C. Non-Residential Water Sampling.
- Water sampling in schools should be conducted in accordance with the EPA 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools or the most current EPA non- residential water sampling protocol.
State of Rhode Island General Laws § 23-61-4. Authority of the director.
The director is authorized to: (1) Designate a unit within the department to administer the provisions of this chapter and provide that unit with the necessary staff, equipment, and operating funds. (2) Receive and administer funding allocated for radon control programs by the state, agencies of the federal government and other appropriate funding sources. (3) Require the owner of any public or high priority building to perform such tests for radon as he or she may determine to be necessary to characterize the exposure of occupants to radon/radon progeny in the air of the building and/or in the building water supply. (4) Conduct a voluntary radon/radon progeny testing program for residents of owner occupied residential dwellings in the state. (5) Enter any public or high priority building in the state in accordance with §§ 23-61-7(a)(1) and 23-61-7(b)(4) to perform such tests for radon as he or she may determine to be necessary to evaluate the exposure of occupants to radon/radon progeny in the air of the building and/or in the building water supply. (6) Institute a public information program to include a telephone information service, written materials, and media advertisements with the purpose of informing the public regarding radon/radon progeny health effects, the necessity for testing of homes and other buildings, the recommended practices for reducing elevated levels of radon and related issues. (7) Develop and forward for adoption by the state building code commission recommendations for Standard of new construction designed to prevent or more easily mitigate elevated radon/radon progeny levels. (8) Issue regulations for the following purposes: (i) To establish indoor environmental air exposure Standard and guidelines for radon and radon progeny; (ii) To establish a drinking water standard for radon; (iii) To establish criteria for air and water sampling, and testing for radon and radon progeny; (iv) To establish criteria for notification of the department of mitigation activities to reduce radon/radon progeny exposures in high priority buildings and public water supplies; (v) To establish criteria for licensure and certification of persons involved in radon/radon progeny testing and mitigation services; (vi) To require radon/radon progeny testing by appropriate school officials of each area within public and private schools occupied by children in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade; (vii) To establish work practices and procedures for mitigation of radon/radon progeny in buildings; (viii) To establish procedures for notifications required by § 23-61-6; (ix) To assess fees for activities authorized by this chapter. (9) In promulgating Standard, guidelines and regulations and in setting fees authorized by this chapter, the director shall: (i) Give due consideration to recommendations, Standard, guidelines and definitions of other states and the United States; (ii) Shall follow the provisions of chapter 35 of title 42.