Drinking water is essential to good health but only if the water is safe for human consumption. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, approximately 98,000 public schools' water supplies are not regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act. In fact, 44 states do not require schools to check their water supplies for lead, and doing so is not a federal government requirement either. 

Additionally, research shows that only 15% of children drink enough water during the day, which can negatively affect mental performance. Essentially, dehydration makes it difficult for children to learn. If you are a parent and these important water issues concern you, speak with your school district's board of directors. Here are a few key points to address. 

Test for Lead 

Since most public schools are not required to test their drinking water supplies, ask your school board if they've had the water tested recently, if ever. If not, demand lead testing to determine whether or not the water is safe for your children's consumption. If the water is found to be contaminated with lead, demand that the school remedy the situation with water treatment.

Also, the school will need to send letters to parents informing them that their children will need to be tested for lead exposure. In the meantime, water fountains should be turned off, and water bottles should be supplied and readily available. 

Foster Water Consumption 

Since water consumption is crucial to learning, it's important for children to drink water often throughout each school day and at home. Ask the school board to allow children to carry water bottles with them and allow the children to keep the water bottles on their desks. That way, they can sip on water at any time rather than only in between classes, on bathroom breaks, or during lunch. 

To help make it easier for all children to fill their own water bottles, particularly the younger children, ask the school board to install water fountains that have a dispenser specifically designed for filling water bottles. If financing is a concern, offer a suggestion for the Parent Teacher Organization to do a fundraiser to raise the monies needed to purchase the new fountains. 

Additionally, refillable water bottles should be available for all children to ensure that all children will have water bottles regardless of their financial situations at home. Labels should be provided to avoid confusion as to which water bottle belongs to which child. A company, like Water Tec, can help provide refill services of treated water.

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