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3Ts Toolkit
The 3Ts toolkit includes modules to assist facilities in
developing a drinking water testing program.
Module 1
Communicating the 3Ts
^"1 Module 2
Learning About Lead in Drinking Water
EH Module 3
m3 Planning Your 3Ts Program
Module 4
Developing a Sampling Plan
Module 5
Conducting Sampling & Interpreting Results
Module 6
Remediation & Establishing Routine Practices
Module 7
The 3Ts Establishing a Lead Testing Program Checklist
includes steps needed to take a holistic approach, including
important areas of communication throughout.
For this and the full toolkit, visit:
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Immediate Actions to Start
Improving Water Quality
Immediately remove drinking water coolers listed in EPA's 3Ts
as containing lead lined coolers. These were built before the
1986 Lead Free Act.
Clean drinking water fountains and aerators (screens)
regularly. Consider creating a cleaning time card that can be
posted by the water fountairi^ to allow the cleaning times to be
Use only cold water for food and beverage preparation. Hot
water will dissolve lead more quickly than cold water and is
likely to contain increased lead levels.
Make sure filters are maintained if being used. Ensure that
the selected filter is certified to remove lead (or any other
contaminants of concern).
Create and post placards near bathroom or utility sinks with
notices if the water should not be consumed'. Use pictures if
there are small children using bathrooms.
Regularly flush all water outlets used for drinking or food
preparation, particularly after weekends and long vacations
when water may have been sitting for a long period of time.
Office of Water
EPA 815-F-18-001
October 2018

3Ts for Reducing Lead
in Drinking Water
in Schools and Child Care Facilities
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What are the 3Ts?
The 3Ts toolkit was developed for schools and child
care facilities to heip them implement a voluntary
program for reducing lead in drinking water. The 3Ts
consist of the following:
•„ TRAINING officials to raise awareness of the 3Ts program
and summarize the potential causes^nd health effects of
lead in drinking water.
•	TESTING drinking water in schools and child care facilities
to identify potential lead problems.
•	TAKING ACTION to reduce lead in drinking water.
Module 1: Communicating the 3Ts
Develop a Communication Plan
Communicating early and often about your
testing plans, results, and next steps will build
confidence in your community.
Templates are available to help you:
•	Get your team together
•	Create a contact list
•	Identify your target area
•	Know your methods of communication
•	Identify timing for communication
•	Start communicating!
View the 3Ts loolkit for helpful resources:
Link: https://www.epa.gov/safewater/3Ts

Reducing Lead Exposure
Lead is a toxic metal that is harmful to human health. We
can be exposed to lead through a variety of sources (e.g.
paint, dust, soil, air, and drinking water).
There is no known safe blood lead level for children. EPA
suggests that schools and child care facilities implement
programs for reducing lead in drinking water as part of their
overall plans for reducing environmental threats. Safe and
healthy school and child care environments foster healthy
children and may improve student performance.
There are no federal laws requiring testing of drinking water
in schools and child care facilities, except for those facilities
that own and/or operate their own public water supply and
are thus regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).
Some states, tribes and local jurisdictions have established
their own programs for testing drinking water lead levels in
schools and child care facilities, and some have developed
regulations or guidance. Facilities should reach out to their
state to find out what laws or regulations may apply to them.
Even when water entering a facility meets all federal and
state public health standards for lead, older plumbing
materials in schools and child care facilities may contribute to
elevated lead in their drinking water.
Utilizing the 3Ts Toolkit can help ensure a successful lead in
drinking water reduction program.


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Assigning Roles
It is important to clearly define responsibilities and to
support those people in their roles. An effective program wil
require a team effort. Identifying specific roles and
responsibilities before initiating a program wil! give the
program accountability.
BTs Program
Partner Liaison
Act as the point of contact for the Program.
Communicate with the other teams, external resources,
and program partners.
Communicate testing plans, results and remediation
efforts to the public (e.g., to the school and child care
facility community, media outlets, civic groups)
Work with certified laboratories, interest groups, the
school board and other partners supporting the 3Ts
Program. Schedule activities and maintain
Lead the effort to develop and implement a sampling
plan. Engage with other program points of contact and
external resources and partners as appropriate.
Remediation	Lead the remediation efforts, if necessary. Engage with
Activities Contact other program points of contact and external partners as
appropriate, acting as the Program point of contact for
those resources.
Ensure a central repository is created to house all BTs
Program documents. Lead effort to create, maintain,
and update documentation with the team annually.
Identifying Funding Sources
Ensuring a 3Ts Program has adequate funding is necessary for
the success of the program. Items such as the cost of
collecting water samples, having the samples analyzed and
any predictable remediation costs can be incorporated into
the program's budget. Funding issues should be discussed
with decision-makers and with partners early on in the
planning process.
Office of Water EPA
EPA 815-F-18-001
October 2018

Learn and develop plans that
provide the framework for an
effective program
Module 2: Learning About Lead in
Drinking Water
Health Effects of Lead
There is no known safe level of lead. The human body cannot
tell the difference between lead and calcium, which is a
mineral that strengthens the bones. Because of this, lead can
be absorbed into the bones, where it can collect for a lifetime.
Young children are especially susceptible to lead exposure.
Pregnant and nursing staff should also be aware of the
harmful risks of lead exposure to nursing infants and the
developing fetuses of pregnant women.
Even low blood levels of lead have been associated with:
reduced IQ and attention span
learning disabilities
poor classroom performance
behavioral problems
impaired growth and hearing loss


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Sources of Lead
Sources of lead exposure include the lead industry, lead-
based paint (e.g., paint chips or dust), lead in water, lead in
the air, lead in soil, and lead in consumer products and food.
Lead-based paint In the air
In the soil

Lead Industry
In consumer
In water
Lead gets into drinking water as it comes into contact with
plumbing materials containing lead. Interior lead pipe and
lead solder (commonly used until 1988), brass fittings, valves
and various drinking water outlets (e.g., water fountains and
faucets) are the primary contributors of lead in drinking water
in schools and child care facilities.
How Lead in Drinking Water is Regulated
The Lead Ban (1986): A requirement that only "lead-free"
materials be used in new plumbing and in plumbing repairs.
The Lead Contamination Control Act (LCCA) (1988): The LCCA
aimed at the identification and reduction of lead in drinking
water at schools and child care facilities, including the recall of
drinking water coolers with lead lined tanks.
The Lead and Copper Rule (1991): A regulation by EPA to
control the amount of lead and copper in water supplied by
public water systems.
The Reduction Of Lead In Drinking Water Act (2011): This act
further reduces lead and redefines "lead-free" under the Safe
Drinking Water Act (SDWA).
State Laws: Some states, tribes and local jurisdictions have
established regulations for schools and child care facilities.
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Module 3: Planning a 3Ts Program
Review Records
Review records to determine if monitoring has been
conducted, and to determine whether remediation actions
have been taken. This will help to prioritize efforts and be
more efficient.
Establishing Partnerships
Entities like the public water system, local health offices, state
drinking water programs, certified laboratories, and local
community organizations may be able to provide assistance
in testing the drinking water for lead.
*	Assistance from Public Water Systems: Assistance may be
available through technical guidance, sampling and/or
sharing in sampling costs. Some systems may be willing to
help develop sampling plans and plumbing profiles.
*	Assistance from Local Health Offices: Many local
governments have established programs that are
responsible for a wide variety of public health protection
activities, such as Lead Poisoning Prevention Programs.
*	Assistance from the State Drinking Water, Heath and
Education Programs: Contact your state programs to
determine whether any other requirements apply, or
whether training and/or technical assistance is available.
*	Assistance from Certified Laboratories: The state drinking
water office should be able to provide a list of certified
laboratories that you can use for testing.
*	Assistance from Local Community Organizations: There
are a variety of local organizations within communities that
can help; for example, community volunteer groups, senior
citizens'' groups, the PTAs, and local environmental groups

Test drinking water to identify
potential problems
Sampling Dos and Don'ts
•	Follow the instructions provided by the laboratory for handling
sample containers to ensure accurate results.
•	Assign a unique sample identification number to each sample
collected. Use a coding scheme to help differentiate samples, and
don't forget to label.
•	Collect all water samples before the facility opens and before any
water is used. Ideally, the water should sit in the pipes unused for at
least 8 hours but not more than 18 hours before a sample is taken.
•	Learn how water flows in your facility. If there are multiple floors, it
is typically recommended to sample from the bottom floor and
continue up. Start sampling closest to the main and work away.
•	Remove aerators prior to sampling. Potential lead contributors may
be missed if aerators are removed since debris could be contributing
to the lead in drinking water if particles containing lead are trapped
behind aerator screens
•	Flush water prior to sampling, unless instructed to do so. Flushing can
be a tool to improve water quality, especially after long holidays or
weekends. However, flushing prior to sampling may cause samples to
not be representative of daily consumption.
•	Close the shut-off valves to prevent their use prior to sample
collection Minute amounts of scrapings from the valves could
produce inaccurate results showing higher than actual lead levels in
the water.
Communicate Results
Telling parents and staff about your lead
monitoring program will demonstrate your
commitment to protecting children and staff health.
Communicating early and often about your testing plans,
results, and next steps will build confidence in your community
Module 4:
Developing a Sampling Plan
Office of Water
EPA 815-F-18-001
October 2018
Conduct a Walkthrough
Conduct a walkthrough of the facility and create an inventory.
Take note of all sinks and fountains used for consumption. It
may be helpful to take pictures when conducting this
This will enable you to understand how water enters and flows
through building(s), and to prioritize sample sites.
Make sure to identify any outlet noted as having lead-lined
storage tanks or lead parts listed in EPA's 3Ts. These should
he removed immediately.
Determine Sample Locations
Sample sites include drinking fountains, kitchen
and classroom sinks, home economics sinks,
teachers' lounge, and other sites used for

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EPA recommends all outlets used for consumption be
sampled; prioritizing outlets:
That are used by children under the age of 6 years or
pregnant women (e.g., drinking fountains, nurses' office
sinks, classrooms used for early childhood education)
That are frequently used by students and staff
Are older and/or have never been tested
Faucets that are not used for human consumption, such as
sinks in janitor's closets or outdoor hoses, do not need to be
sampled and clear signage should be used to notify people
that it is not for drinking.
Selecting a Laboratory for Sample Analysis
Regardless of who collects the samples, schools should employ
a certified laboratory approved by the state or EPA for testing
lead in drinking water. Contact the state drinking water
program or the public water system, or visit EPA's website:
Contact Information for Certification Programs and
Certified Laboratories for Drinking Water for a list of
certified laboratories in the area.
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Determine Your Sampling Frequency
How frequently your facility can and should test for lead in
drinking water is dependent on a variety of factors (e.g.
plumbing, water quality, lead results, budget, and competing
Schools and child care facilities should make testing drinking
water a part of their regular building operations. Annual
monitoring provides information on changes in the lead levels
and the effectiveness of remediation or treatment efforts.
Check your service iine
Lead pipes are used for service connections, or service lines, in
some locations. Other materials used for service lines include
copper, galvanized steel, plastic and iron. Lead is less practical
for the larger service lines typically used in larger buildings;
however, many child care facilities reside in small buildings
and are at a higher likelihood of being served by lead lines.
Regardless of building size, make sure to check the service line.
The water utility may be able to provide information about
whether there is a lead service line or can help identify the
service line for the school.
Lead service lines may be
visible and are generally a
duil gray color and very soft.
6 Module 5: Conducting Sampling &
Interpreting Results
Conducting Sampling
EPA recommends that schools and child care facilities conduct
a 2-step sampling procedure to identify if there is lead in the
outlet (e.g. faucet, fixture, or water fountain) or behind the wall
(e.g. in the interior plumbing).
Collect all water samples before the facility
opens and before any water is used. Ideally,
the water should sit in the pipes unused for at
least 8 hours but not more than 18 hours
before a sample is taken.
Step 2
250-mL Flush Sample
If the result of Step 1 is high,
take a 30-second flush sample
to identify lead in the
plumbing behind the fixture.
250-mL First Draw Sample
Take a 250-mL first draw
sample at all taps used for
consumption to identify
potential lead in the fixture.
Prioritize remediation efforts based on sample results and use
the steps in the 3Ts to pinpoint potential lead sources to
reduce their lead levels to the lowest possible concentrations.

Establishing Routine Practices
Establish routine practices to reduce exposure to lead and
other environmental hazards (e.g., bacteria). These activities
should not be conducted immediately prior to collecting a
water sample but should be planned as part of the school's or
child care facility's water management program to improve
overall drinking water quality.
Some of these include:
•	Clean water fountains,
aerators and screens
•	Use only cold water for
food and beverages
•	If filters are used, make
sure they are
•	Create and post
placards near sinks
where water should not
be consumed
•	Regularly flush all water
outlets, particularly after
weekends and vacations
Clean Faucet Aerators
O Unscrew the end-piece of your faucet where
the water comes out. This is the aerator.
(Make note of how the pieces come off, to
put back together. Parts vary.)
© Remove the screen and rinse out any dirt
that has collected.
0 Screw it back on.
Communicate Results
Reach out to your community, parents and staff
to let them know what remediation is being
conducted. Include any lead protection efforts
the that have been conducted and that the school or child
care facility is already implementing (e.g., routine practices).
Module 7:
Keep a record
Keep a record of sampling and remediation efforts that have
been conducted and schedules that have been created to
continue to maintain water quality. It is important to keep an
ongoing record of public outreach and communication
activities. Keep copies of past communication materials and the
dates they were sent out. Strong recordkeeping can prove to be
helpful in ensuring the longevity of the program. The 3Ts
includes recordkeeping templates.
Office of Water
EPA 815-F-18-001
October 2018
Take action to reduce lead in
drinking water and communicate
to parents, staff, and the larger
school community

Module 6: Remediation & Establishing
Routine Practices
Decide When to Take Action
There is no known safe level of lead for children. EPA
encourages schools to prioritize remediation efforts based on
lead sample results and to use the steps in the toolkit to
pinpoint potential lead sources to reduce their lead levels to
the lowest possible concentrations.
Before sampling, facilities should establish a plan on how they
will respond to their sample results to protect the school and
child care facility population from lead in drinking water. This
may be dependent on a variety of factors (e.g., age of
plumbing, population, water corrosivity, available resources,
and other school and child care program priorities). EPA
recommends that you prioritize remediation of drinking water
outlets with the highest lead levels.
Make sure to also check with your state and local health
department. They may have guidance or even requirements
that include a lead remediation trigger.



Solutions typically should be addressed on both on a short-
term and on a long-term basis.
Immediate Response
Shut off problem outlets: If initial sample
results from an outlet exceed the
remediation level, the outlet can be shut
off or disconnected until the problem is
Share Test Results: Notify staff, parents,
and students of test results and actions the
school is taking.
Increase Awareness and Public Education: If the
remediation trigger is exceeded, take the initiative by
providing information to your school community.
Short-Term Control Measures
Provide Filters at Problem Taps: Point of use (POU), or
filter, units are commercially available and can be effective in
removing lead.
Flush Taps Prior to Use: Flushing individual problem outlets
or all outlets may also represent a short-term solution. Learn
how to use flushing as a tool appropriately in the 3Ts
Flushing Best Practices.
Provide Bottled Water: This can be an expensive alternative
but might be warranted if schools expect or are aware of
widespread contamination and other remediation is not an
Permanent Control Measures
Replacement of Outlets: If the sources of lead
contamination are localized and limited to a few outlets,
replacing these outlets or upstream components may be
the most practical solution.
Pipe Replacement: Lead pipes within the school and
those portions of the lead service lines under the public
water system's jurisdiction can be replaced.
Provide Filters at Problem Taps: Some facilities may
chose to use filters or Point of use (POU) units as a long-
term or permanent control measure. It is important to
follow manufacturer instructions for maintaining filters
(e.g., change the cartridge).
* Reconfigure Plumbing:
Ongoing renovation of
school or childcare
buildings may provide an
opportunity to modify
the plumbing system to
redirect water supplied
for drinking or cooking
to bypass sources of lead
Follow-Up Procedures
Once a remediation option has been selected and
implemented there are additional follow-up procedures that
should be taken.
Work with plumbers and maintenance staff to ensure that
additional samples are taken from any outlets that were
impacted by replacement of fixtures, reconfiguration of
plumbing, or other remediation actions to ensure that lead
levels are reduced.
Schools and child care facilities should continue to test for
lead regularly and make testing drinking water a part of their
regular building operations.
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