Proposed Legislation Sets 2025 Deadline for Philadelphia Schools to Provide Safe Drinking Water

The School District of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is proposing legislation to provide access to safe drinking water. This comes after a report by PennEnvironment and PennPIRG released last month found that 60% of all water fountains or outlets across 65 Philadelphia public schools tested positive for lead. While some school district officials claim the report is misleading due to using a testing standard of 1 pbb, it is well regarded by health professionals that there is no safe level of lead.

While the school district has already installed more than 1,300 hydration stations since the 2016-2017 school year, the legislation would set a deadline for completion to meet the goal of 1 station per every 100 students. Currently, the district needs to install approximately 800 more systems.

The requirements under the proposed legislation include that they are made from lead-free materials, have a filter that meets NSF/ANSI standards for removal of lead and other contaminants, and have a filter change indicator. District officials say the hydration stations already installed meet these criteria.

The district invested an initial $1 million into the project in 2017 and received roughly $95,000 last year in a grant from the city’s health department. The district estimates installing the remaining 800 stations will cost an additional $1 million.

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