For Immediate Release
Date: September 07, 2023


Jim Martin
(603) 271-3710

NHDES Releases Report of Lead in Drinking Water at New Hampshire Schools and Child Care Facilities

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) has released a report on the first of three rounds of lead in drinking water testing at New Hampshire K-12 schools and licensed child care facilities. The “New Hampshire Lead in School and Child Care Drinking Water Findings from Round 1 of Testing and Remediation (2016 – 2023)” provides a summary of the sampling results since a 2018 law was passed that required the testing. This is the first of three data briefs to be issued once those additional sampling rounds are completed. 

Facilities that have not started their Round 2 sampling must do so as soon as possible to make the deadline for completing the required 3 rounds of sampling by June 30, 2024. Select “Enroll in the Program” at, which is FREE for all child care facilities and public schools.

The most up-to-date test results and remediation information are available on our View Results page.

Under New Hampshire’s Get The Lead Out of Drinking Water program, all K-12 schools and licensed child care facilities must test all drinking water outlets available for consumption by children, including drinking fountains, classroom sinks and kitchen sinks. A revision to the state law in July 2022 lowered the action level for this program from 15 parts per billion (ppb) to 5 ppb, and changed the timing of the testing such that three rounds must be completed by June 30, 2024. 

During the first round of testing, sample results from over 23,000 drinking water outlets from 625 schools and 594 licensed child care facilities were processed. Results show that one out of five child care facilities and three out of five schools had at least one drinking water outlet that tested at or above the 5 ppb action level. Overall, 14% of all water outlets sampled had a result at or above the 5 ppb action level, 25% had a result between 1 and 5 ppb and 61% showed no lead detected.

Facilities must remediate, eliminate or reduce lead levels at all drinking water outlets that test at or above 5 ppb. Remediation information was collected for 92% of drinking water outlets that require remediation. The most common methods of remediation were permanently removing the water outlet from service or posting no drinking/handwash only signage (51%) and replacing the outlet with a new fixture (16%).

To support schools and child care facilities in meeting the testing and remediation requirements, the Get the Lead Out of Drinking Water Program provides resources and technical support during normal business hours at and 603-506-6469. Funding for the program is provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act and includes free testing for all child care facilities and public schools. In addition, the New Hampshire Drinking Water and Groundwater Trust Fund has awarded $1.6 million for remediation grants for public and private schools, and is working with NH Department of Health and Human Services to establish a grant program for child care facilities. Information about the remediation grant will be available this fall and will be posted on the Get the Lead Out webpage

NHDES is also collaborating with multiple state agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education and an extensive network of stakeholders to raise awareness about lead exposure in children, and to encourage water testing and remediation. Lead does not occur naturally in New Hampshire’s drinking water sources, but can enter drinking water due to the wearing away of piping, plumbing fixtures or solder. Lead is harmful to humans and animals, causing health problems from high blood pressure to nervous system disorders. Children under the age of 6, including unborn babies, are the most at risk because their growing bodies absorb more lead than adult bodies.

Information about the program and all sampling results are updated on a regular basis on the NHDES Lead in Drinking Water webpage at Press inquiries should contact James Martin at or (603) 271-3710.

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