From The Denver Post (Monte Whaley):
The passage of House Bill 1306, which enjoyed bipartisan support, will help ensure that children aren’t exposed to dangerous levels of lead, said school and health officials.
“Clean water in our schools is an expectation everyone in Colorado can get behind,” said Brian Turner, president of the Colorado Public Health Association.
HB 1306 is aimed primarily at older elementary schools with the hope that all public schools will be tested and the results analyzed by June 30, 2020. The bill authorizes the state Department of Public Health and Environment to establish a grant program to test the drinking water in public schools that use a public water system.
As much as $300,000 in grants could be awarded each year for three years, and another $140,000 would be spent to implement the program. The measure also requires school districts that test for lead to chip in 10 percent in local matching funds and give the test results to the local public health agency, water supplier, school board and CDPHE.
Schools that discover lead in their drinking water have several routes for securing money to clean up the water, officials said.
Just seven of Colorado’s 178 school districts have tested their water for lead, and in those districts 100 schools were found to have lead in their water, according to Conservation Colorado.