La Mesa Spring Valley School District, the subject of a channel 7 news story on February 28th, is collecting water samples to determine if the plumbing or water fixtures in their schools expose students to lead. The school district’s decision to provide bottled water to students is not due to the quality of water provided by Helix Water District.

There is no lead pipe in Helix’s water distribution system, including water mains and service lines to homes and schools, and the district is in full compliance with state and federal lead and copper testing requirements.

In mid-January, the State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water directed all water systems in the state to assist the K-12 schools they serve in determining if a school’s plumbing or water fixtures expose students to lead. The state is focused on schools because older school buildings throughout the state were built before current lead regulations were in place.

The purpose of the state’s directive is to help schools determine if their plumbing or water fixtures are a potential source of lead exposure for students and staff.  Schools can then remove or replace plumbing as needed.

Helix sent letters to all K-12 schools in our service area on January 20, 2017 to advise schools of the program and provide a point of contact should they decide to request sampling assistance from the district.  School participation in the water sampling program is voluntary, and schools must request assistance in writing.

Additional information regarding Helix Water District’s compliance with state and federal lead and copper testing, and all other water quality regulations, can be found in our annual Water Quality Report. Information on the testing for lead in schools program can be found on the State Water Resources Control Board’s website.