Map DCPS DC Lead Test (DRAFT)

DRAFT Map of 2016 DC Lead Testing Results (DC parks and Rec centers) DRAFT map is still in development
As mandated by the federal SafeDrinking Water Act, the DC Department of General Services (DGS) tests the water at DC Public Schools (DCPS), DC parks and recreation facilities for lead. 
Specifically for DCPS, you can find their results going back to 2014 on this webpage

The map below shows only the 2016 results. Each dot is a school; hover over each dot for more information.

Purpose of Map:
In order to contribute to the Lead Free DC community-based advocacy, the Environmental Justice Committee of the DC Sierra Club, created the following map by georeferencing the data (pdf data charts) provided by DGS, to graphically depict the tested sites and the results by hovering over each dot for more information.  Note: please read map use authorization.  

DC Public Schools and other School facilities Tested Data details:

At each school, the Dept. of General Services (DGS) tested multiple places (different water fountains, etc.). The map below shows the location of each facility as a dot, and its test result is categorized by color according to the worst result at the school. So if most of the water fountains showed no lead, but one sink or water fountain tested positive, the whole school appears as a red or yellow dot in the map. 
  • The dots are green if the worst lead reading in the schools was less than 1 part-per-billion (ppb).
  • After preliminary 2016 DGS Lead Test results found that at least 12 DC Public Schools had high levels of Lead in their drinking water, the Mayor and DC Agencies raised the lead standard for the city to follow up and take action from 15ppb to 1 ppb. 
  • The current federal guideline mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency says 15 ppb is "too much lead."
  • Based on the new 2016 DC standard of 1ppb, above which the city is supposed to take action to reduce the lead levels: The map shows the dots are yellow if the maximum lead reading was between 1 and 15 ppb. They are colored red if the maximum reading was above 15 ppb. 
A quick note about lead tests:
Lead testing only reveals a snapshot in time. Lead levels can rise and fall over time, because sudden changes can cause more lead to enter the water. Examples of such changes include lead solder washing off the inside of a pipe, or changes in water chemistry. For this reason, green or yellow dots ("passing" tests by the federal standard) could still have lead-contaminated pipes--the tests might have missed it. Also, the tests shown below don't tell us about the underlying source of lead for each school facility. As per the June 28th DC Council Public Hearing on Lead in Public Facilities city agencies in charge of protecting the residents from Lead in water haven't revealed exactly where the problem is.

Search for the detailed results for your school using the spreadsheets below. You can find all of the results for the lead tests in your school in this sheet, not just the worst results which are plotted in the map above. Notice that DGS conducted two tests at each water source. Those are shown in adjacent columns.

DGS declined to provide excel data when we called, so all of this data was taken from PDFs. There are actually two sets of PDFs from which this data was taken.

In one document, DGS put their results from 2016 in one place. You can find that PDF here.

You can also look right here:

And here is that same data in a google spreadsheet, which you can download here:


Now for the second document. DGS also provides individual PDF reports on each individual school on their website, here. We've compiled all those PDFs into one giant PDF, which you can see below:

Interestingly, the data in the "single PDF" on the DGS website doesn't totally match all the data in their individual school report PDFs. There are a few schools in the "single PDF" document that don't have individual reports. And there are schools with individual reports that are missing from the single PDF document. If anyone from DGS can explain this, it'd be much appreciated!

Data Source:
The original data all of original *DGS PDF documents are here.
The data used to create the map, is found here. This spreadsheet contains only the maximum values from the 2016 lead tests--the worst readings from each school.

Map Use and Authorization:
This map is a tool for community organizing only, it is solely to be used by community-based organizers to guide and inform DC public in general, impacted residents, parents and students. Authorization must be requested to use the georeferenced data and to share the map with other purposes in mind. 

Contact us, if you would like permission to use the map for other purposes, have questions about the mapping process, data accuracy (in case you see any errors) or want to join the EJC DC SierraClub Mapping team: 

*for direct data questions about this map contact our wonderful volunteer EJC mapper: Pete Rodrigue his gmail account name is edwardpierrerodrigue