FAQs

From where does VBCPS get its water supply?
Water service for all of Virginia Beach City Public Schools is provided from the municipal water supply. City of Virginia Beach Public Utilities meets the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) standards according to the latest published water quality reports.

When does VBCPS test water for lead?
VBCPS tests consumable water sources every five years at all facilities built before 2014. The Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act became effective in 2014. Therefore, no lead sources are present in the newest VBCPS buildings.

Please click HERE for historical information regarding testing in VBCPS schools.

Which schools will have water tested during the 2020-21 school year?
As part of the plan to test consumable water sources every five years at all facilities built before 2014, testing will be conducted at the following schools: Glenwood bus garage, Glenwood Elementary, Christopher Farms Elementary, Corporate Landing Elementary, Corporate Landing Middle, Landstown Elementary, Landstown Middle, Larkspur Middle, Linkhorn Park Elementary, Ocean Lakes Elementary, Ocean Lakes High, Red Mill Elementary, Salem Elementary, Salem Middle, Salem High, Strawbridge Elementary, Tallwood Elementary and Tallwood High.

In addition, the VBCPS water team will be revisiting elementary classroom gooseneck faucets the were originally classified as non-consumable and had “Handwashing Only” signs installed. These sinks often also have a bubbler with a “Drinking Water” sign, and this has caused confusion. Therefore, VBCPS will retest 48 gooseneck faucets at 17 schools where testing results returned >15 ppb. Once remediated and below the threshold of 10 ppb, the outlets will be available for consumption and the signs will be removed. Those buildings are: Alanton Elementary, Brandon Middle, Creeds Elementary, Fairfield Elementary, First Colonial High, Holland Elementary, Independence Middle , Indian Lakes Elementary, Kempsville Elementary, Kempsville Middle, Kings Grant Elementary, Kingston Elementary, Laskin Road Annex, Luxford Elementary, Lynnhaven Elementary, Malibu Elementary, North Landing Elementary, Pembroke Elementary, Pembroke Meadows Elementary, Point O'View Elementary, Princess Anne Elementary, Princess Anne Middle, Princess Anne High, Rosemont Elementary, Rosemont Forest Elementary, Shelton Park Elementary, Technical and Career Education Center, Thalia Elementary, Trantwood Elementary and White Oaks Elementary.

Families will be notified when testing is scheduled to be conducted in their school.

If there is a “Water not for Drinking or Cooking “ sign at my child’s school, is that water safe?
In pre-2014 facilities, “Water not for Drinking or Cooking” signs are posted over water sources not intended for consumption, such as bathrooms, showers and science labs. This does not mean that the water is untreated, it just means that water from that source is not intended for drinking or food preparation.

What is lead poisoning?
Lead poisoning occurs when a person’s health or body functions are negatively affected by lead contamination in what they eat, drink, touch or breathe. There are many factors that affect how human bodies handle exposure to lead. These factors include a person’s age, nutritional status and genetic makeup, as well as the source of lead and length of their exposure.

Who is at greatest risk?
Children under age six are most susceptible since their brain is still developing. During this time, low levels of lead can interfere with normal brain development, resulting in behavioral problems and permanently reduced IQ. This is also the age during which hand-to-mouth activity is a child’s way of exploring, and they spend more time crawling on the floor where they can pick up dust containing lead on their hands.

How do children get lead poisoning?
Most children get lead poisoning from paint in homes built before 1978. When old paint cracks and peels, it makes dangerous dust. The dust is so small you cannot see it. Most children get lead poisoning when they breathe or swallow the dust on their hands and toys.

It is good practice, when drinking from a water fountain, or getting water from any source intended for consumption, to let the water run for a few seconds. This applies anywhere, not just in school buildings.

More resources:
Virginia Department of Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Environmental Protection Agency
The National Lead Information Center provides information about lead, lead hazards and their prevention. Specialists are available Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. (except federal holidays) at 1-(800)-424-LEAD [5323].