DENVER, CO – The House today passed legislation sponsored by Representative Emily Sirota to eliminate lead from drinking water in schools and child care centers. The vote was 43-19.
“Every child should have safe drinking water in school or at their child care center, and when they don’t, it can have lifelong impacts on their health and education outcomes,” said Rep. Emily Sirota, D-Denver. “We’re taking bold action to test for lead, replace fixtures, and install the necessary equipment to ensure drinking water is safe wherever children are cared for.”
HB22-1358 would provide resources to school districts and child care centers to install filters and clean water devices to eliminate lead children’s’ drinking water. The bill provides school districts and child care centers $18 million to test for the presence of lead, install clean sources of drinking water, such as faucet filters or bottle filling stations.
Many Colorado schools do not test for lead and do not know if their water is contaminated. Samples that have been taken have found elevated levels of lead in the drinking in Colorado schools. Elevated levels of lead in children’s blood leads to life-long damage, including memory loss, fatigue and challenges learning.