Schools That Failed Lead Tests Can Get Help With New Water Tech

July 30, 2018
Lead in drinking water at schools lowered by flushing plumbing

More schools fail lead tests

Environment America states that more than 24 million kids will lose IQ points due to lead exposure.

A recent CBS article reporting that 10 percent of plumbing fixtures in Ohio school districts with abnormally high levels of lead is yet another example of lead in schools. Many American schools are exposing children to unsafe levels of lead particularly in the Northeastern USA such as New Jersey, New York, Illinois and Maine.  The schools affected are not only in big cities but also suburban and rural communities.

According to the EPA, there is no known safe level of lead in the water supply. Lead is especially dangerous to children as even "low levels of exposure have been linked to damage to the central and peripheral nervous system, learning disabilities, shorter stature, impaired hearing, and impaired formation and function of blood cells."

Flush plumbing to lower levels of lead

One technique to keep lead at safe levels is to have schools run their water to flush their plumbing regularly, which 5,300 schools are failing to do properly. But, tracking when and how frequently pipes are flushed poses a challenge as most schools do not have systems to monitor water flow in real-time. If lead flushing doesn’t happen on a regular schedule, the lead that has leached into the water supply remains in the standing water in the pipes. And, when children drink the water they are exposed to higher levels of lead. Monitoring lead flushing is key to keeping water clean and safe at schools; as the saying goes, "you can't manage what you can't measure."

Track lead flushing with smart water flow sensors

Monitor water usage including lead flushing at all buildings and schools in districts
Track lead flushing and water usage at buildings across school districts

Fortunately, there are non-intrusive smart water flow sensors that can be installed in seconds by anyone - from custodial staff to teaching faculty. Alert Labs solutions smart water flow sensor straps onto indoor water meters in seconds to monitor water flow in real-time. The AlertAQ water intelligence platform generates analytics and a record of all water usage events.

By monitoring water flow minute-by-minute with AlertAQ, school facility managers and administrators can ensure that essential lead flushing is being performed at all schools in the district. The length of time that these flushing events are carried out can also be quantified. Real-time water usage data helps avoid lead flushing that is either too short and therefore ineffective or, too long and the cause of high water bills.

AlertAQ also sends alerts for leaks, floods, unusual water usage, pipe freezing, power outages and humidity levels to help protect school buildings from water damage and high water bills.

Lead levels in drinking water at schools can be properly managed with Alert Labs solutions.