Lead Testing in Drinking Water Program

Skip to Content

Accessible Navigation and Information

Use the following links to quickly navigate around the page. The number for each is also the shortcut key. You can jump to:

You are on this page: Lead Testing in Drinking Water Program

Overview

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 Friday September 1st, 2023 at 11:59 PM. Any applications received after the deadline will not be reviewed.

Eligibility

  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.

FAQ

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.

New York State Department of Health also offers a free program for NYS residents to test their own drinking water for lead - learn more here: The Free Lead Testing Pilot Program.

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

“How-to” Collection Training Videos

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

Training

Classroom Materials and Support

Informational Videos

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 State has a free program for families to test their own drinking water for lead; if you are interested in more information please visit New York State Department of Health’s website, The Free Lead Testing Pilot Program (FLTPP).

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.

Resources

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

Informational Videos

Results

OCFS child care facilities results coming soon!

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 ocfs.ny.gov/programs/childcare/radon/.

Policies and Legislation

Contact Information

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