HARRISBURG – Bipartisan legislation has been introduced that would require testing and mitigation for lead in PA schools’ drinking water. Senate Bill 986 would establish the Safe School Drinking Water Fund to ensure all school drinking water outlets are equipped with certified point of use filters by Jan. 1, 2026. The bill would also remove all drinking water fountains and install bottle-filling stations with certified point of use lead filters. In 2018, PA enacted legislation to encourage schools to test for lead and report to the Department of Education if the findings were considered dangerous. Since it was not mandated, many schools did not test their water, resulting in the Department of Education being unable to collect accurate data. Lead in drinking water can have adverse effects on children, including damage to the brain and nervous system, physical growth delays, learning and behavior problems, and speech and hearing impairment. The bill will be considered by the Senate Education Committee.