Clean Drinking Water Act Requires Schools and Childcare Centers to Install Water Filters

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed bills into law creating the Clean Drinking Water Act. The Act requires the installation of water filters in childcare centers and schools in the future.

House Bills 4341 and 4342 and Senate Bill 88 combined to enact the Clean Drinking Water Act, which requires schools and childcare centers to install filtered faucets, develop a drinking water management plan, and practice routine sampling and testing.

When are schools and childcare centers required to install filtered faucets?

The Act requires all public and nonpublic schools and childcare centers to develop a drinking water management plan within 15 months of the effective date of the bill (Oct. 18, 2023).

By the end of the 2025-2026 school year, schools will be required to install faucets that include filters or a filtered bottle-filling station. At least one station would have to be maintained for every 100 occupants of the school, not including visitors or individuals attending special events.

Each school is required to review and update its plan at least once every five years and make changes as directed by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE).

Annual water sampling and testing of the filtered water at each station and faucet to ensure that the filters are properly installed and provide water with a lead concentration of not more than five parts per billion is required. In addition, schools are required to regularly replace filter cartridges for each faucet and bottle-filling station.

What does the law provide for childcare centers?

Childcare centers are required to post a conspicuous sign near each water outlet and drinking fountain indicating whether the outlet is intended for human consumption. If the water is intended for human consumption but the outlet is unfiltered, the sign would also have to state that the water is unfiltered and could contain lead.

Childcare centers are required to provide water from a delivery source or filtered faucet to children who attend the center. In addition, childcare centers must also provide the results of all water sampling and testing and all filter and filter cartridge replacement dates to the public.

Help is available

The municipal attorneys at O’Reilly Rancilio are available to answer questions related to school law. To learn more, please call 586-726-1000 or visit our website at www.orlaw.com.

Categories: Municipal