Lead Testing in Drinking Water Program

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You cannot see, smell, or taste lead in water. Testing is the only way to know if lead is present. There are no known safe levels of lead. Lead can cause physical and behavioral effects in children. Some of these include:

New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) is accepting applications for the Lead Testing in Drinking Water Program made available by federal funding provided from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). OCFS was awarded the Lead Testing in School and Child Care Program Drinking Water grant, authorized under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act. With this grant OCFS has created the Lead Testing in Drinking Water Program and has contracted with New York Environmental (NYE) an Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (ELAP) certified laboratory, for laboratory analysis.

The goal of the Lead Testing in Drinking Water Program is to provide free lead testing for drinking water at New York State OCFS licensed and registered child care facilities. OCFS has created a Lead in Drinking Water Program checklist for providers.

Ready to Apply?

Request Form Guidance:

  • Submit one form per eligible facility.
  • Providers must agree to all attestations to be eligible.

After submission of request form, OCFS will review the request and email applicants with next steps and instructions.

The deadline for the Lead Testing in Drinking Water Program Request Form is Tuesday July 1st, 2025 at 11:59 PM. Any applications received after the deadline will not be reviewed.


  1. The EPA recommends that child care facilities should not conduct sampling after an extended closure as these samples would not represent typical water usage. Sampling prior to this waiting period could result in a higher-than-normal lead level result. These facilities should wait 2-3 weeks after operating with a normal water usage amount before applying. Child care facilities are encourage to review the EPA factsheet for further details.


Have questions? Check out the complete FAQ.

Public and private(well) water systems are both eligible to apply.

Use the EPA’s Plumbing Profile Questionnaire to help determine whether lead is likely to be a problem at your facility.

For more information please visit the EPA’s website or visit the EPA’s 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water manual. Additionally, please see guidance provided by the EPA for Ensuring Drinking Water Quality in Child Care Facilities During and After Extended Closures.

Information for Providers

Dear Provider Letters

July 24 - Lead Testing

The Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) is continuing to offer the Lead Testing in Drinking Water Program for licensed and registered child care facilities.

March 22 - Lead Testing

The Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) is proud to be implementing the Lead Testing in Drinking Water Program for licensed and registered child care facilities.

“How-to” Collection Training Videos

The person responsible for the collection of water samples must watch both videos prior to collection.


Classroom Materials and Support

Informational Videos


Other Resources

Information for Families

Lead in drinking water is not the only way that children can become exposed to this toxic heavy metal. Lead can be found in other places such as paint and dust. Keep your family safe by staying informed. The EPA has created a helpful informational PDF on how to Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home.

New York City residents, including those residing in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) public housing, can request a free lead in drinking water test from the Free Residential Lead Testing Program offered by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Please note that this test cannot be used to meet the lead testing requirement for child care facilities.


For detailed information please visit New York State’s Department of Health webpage for information about lead.

Informational Videos


OCFS Lead Testing Drinking Water Program Results

Look up the results of NYS schools and BOCES programs.

To find your local water supplier report you can go to the EPA’s website for the Consumer Confidence Report. To view the public water systems Annual Water Quality Report for New York State please visit the Department of Health’s website.

Additional Resources

Additional Free Testing Opportunities

Other Environmental Hazards

Lead isn’t the only environmental danger to children. To learn more please go to the Radon Testing Program.

Resource Documents

Policies and Legislation

Contact Information

For questions please email ocfs.sm.watertest@ocfs.ny.gov.