Most school districts in New Jersey go untested for lead

In New Jersey, just a fraction of schools and day care centers are required to check drinking fountains and sink water for lead. That’s because federal law requires testing only in schools or districts that run their own water systems.

In New Jersey, less than 300 schools and day care centers are required to report lead levels to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to agency data analyzed by The Associated Press. The state is estimated to have about 4,000 public and private schools.

In the last three years, nearly 20 New Jersey schools reported elevated lead levels in their water at least once to the EPA.

That could change if some state lawmakers succeed in passing a bill that requires testing in all schools.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Help us get to 100% of our membership goal to support the reporters covering our region, the producers bringing you great local programs and the educators who teach all our children.