State bill would set standards for drinking water in schools

DENVER — A hearing on a bill requiring the installation of water filters in schools, day care centers and family homes will be discussed Monday by the House Appropriations Committee.

The bill would ensure public K-12 schools, day care centers and family homes across the state meet national drinking water standards. Each of these facilities would be required to install water filters on all drinking water sources and have a maintenance plan in place for their filtration systems. Regular testing of drinking water and necessary sanitation efforts would also be expected.

The water quality control commission can issue administrative orders and impose penalties to enforce the new provisions. The commission would be required to submit a report summarizing the results of the tests carried out by the child care centres. The report would also identify non-compliant schools, daycares and family homes.

Legislators are mainly concerned about the presence of lead in the drinking water of establishments caring for children. The main sponsors of the bill are Representative Emily Sirota, Senator Faith Winter and Senator Rhonda Fields.

The Department of Public Health and Environment would provide training to schools and daycare centers on water filter maintenance, flushing protocols, lead testing and reporting processes for sample reports.

The bill creates the Fund for Drinking Water in Schools and Daycare Centers to defray the costs incurred by daycare centers to comply with its new requirements.

For more information on this bill, visit leg.colorado.gov.

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