The health and safety of all our school communities is a top priority of BPS.
As a district, we are committed to safely bringing online school building water units used for drinking, food preparation, and medical services.


According to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the current lead action level for Public Water Systems (PWS) is 15 parts per billion (ppb) and the current copper action level is 1,300 ppb per the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR).

The water supplied to Boston Public Schools by Boston Water & Sewer Commission meets the LCR action levels. The BWSC annual water quality report is available at http://www.mwra.state.ma.us/water/html/awqr.htm.

BPS is not a PWS and is therefore not required to comply with the LCR action levels of 15 ppb for lead and 1,300 ppb for copper. BPS, like all schools, is responsible for following the guidance of the US Lead Contamination Control Act (LCCA). The LCCA directs the EPA and its state designees to assist school system administrators, schools, and programs, to identify and reduce or eliminate lead contamination in their facilities’ drinking water. Unlike the LCR, the LCCA is an assistance-based, non-regulatory program.  

As a federal designee and the responsible Massachusetts agency, MassDEP is responsible for educating school/facility officials about the LCCA and coordinating statewide efforts to reduce or eliminate lead in drinking water at schools and childcare facilities. MassDEP has set a goal for schools to have 100 percent of samples with lead and copper levels below the LCR action levels for lead and copper. Note that the federal guidelines for lead in school drinking water under the LCCA have a goal of 20 ppb, but MassDEP opted to set the lead goal for school drinking water to be the same as the LCR action levels. Additional information on the Massachusetts LCCA program is available at http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/water/drinking/lead-in-drinking-water.html.

BPS has adopted MassDEP’s goals for lead and copper levels in drinking water.

For more information on water at Boston Public Schools, visit
bostonpublicschools.org/water and review the BPS Drinking Water Fact Sheet.


  • Review the BPS Water Access Policy

    By law, all students must have access to water throughout the school day, at no cost.

    Offline School – A school building provided with a commercial bottled water supply as its source of drinking water.

    BPS Facilities Management provides bottled water, bottled water coolers, and cups for all offline schools, and for any medical or food service areas that lack access to tap water units in any online school. BPS Facilities Management manages and tracks all school bottled water accounts.

    Online School A school building supplied by online water units (water fountains) as its primary source of drinking water. 

    In addition to having access to drinking tap water, online schools are provided 1-4 bottled water coolers for their nurse’s office and cafeteria if those two areas do not have access to drinking water fountains.

    Before any water fountain in a BPS school building can be turned “online”, it must pass three (3) consecutive tests for lead and copper action levels. These test results, and the process for turning a school building online, must be communicated to the entire school community, as per the BPS Water Policy. 

    Online Tap Water Schools as of February 2019:

    1. Alighieri, Dante Montessori School
    2. Another Course to College
    3. Boston Community Leadership Academy AND New Mission High School (same building)
    4. Boston Green Academy
    5. Boston International Newcomers Academy (BINCA)
    6. Boston Latin School
    7. Conley Elementary School
    8. Dearborn STEM Academy
    9. East Boston Early Education Center
    10. Eliot Upper
    11. Ellis Elementary School
    12. Ellison/Parks Early Education School
    13. Fenway High School
    14. Frederick, Lila G. Middle School
    15. Greenwood, Sarah K-8 School
    16. Haley K-8 School
    17. Haynes Early Education Ctr.
    18. Kennedy Academy For Health Careers (10 Fenwood Road address only)
    19. Kilmer K-8 School (lower)
    20. Kilmer K-8 School (upper)
    21. King K-8 School
    22. Lee, Joseph K-8 School
    23. Manning, Joseph P. Elementary
    24. Mather Elementary
    25. McKay K-8 School
    26. Mattahunt Early Elementary School
    27. Mildred Ave. K-8 School
    28. Orchard Gardens K-8 School
    29. Quincy Elementary
    30. Roosevelt Lower
    31. Roosevelt Upper
    32. UP Academy Holland
    33. Winship Elementary School

    For more information on water at Boston Public Schools, visit https://www.bostonpublicschools.org/water.

  • Results of the 2018 BPS Water Testing can be found here.

    BPS Facilities Management Environmental Division annually samples all online water units used for drinking, food preparation, or medical services for lead and copper concentrations. BPS annual testing will adhere to Mass DEP’s guidance for Sample Collection Procedures for schools and early education childcare facilities, available at the following link: http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/water/drinking/how-to-collect-a-drinking-water-sample-for-lead-and-coppe.html. This testing protocol does not include any sinks used for facility cleaning or hand-washing, including but not limited to those found in utility rooms, bathrooms, science labs, prep rooms, and classrooms. These sinks are not to be used for drinking or any other consumptive purpose such as food preparation and shall be posted as such.

    BPS Facilities Management provides water testing results and any recent water-related information to BPS Communications for the BPS water webpage and annual notices to the BPS community.

    For more information on water at Boston Public Schools, visit https://www.bostonpublicschools.org/water and review the BPS Drinking Water Fact Sheet.

  • Interested in posting copies of this poster at your school? Contact Katherine Walsh for hard copies.


Facilities Management
1216 Dorchester Ave.
Boston, MA 02125