Aspen schools to test for lead in water

May 11, 2017

Aspen School District administrators plan to test drinking water fountains for lead contamination. A bill that passed the state legislature this week could provide some state funding for testing like this.
Credit Courtesy of Olivia Oksenhorn

State funds will soon be available for schools to test for lead contamination in water, and local districts are on board.


Aspen School District facilities manager Gary Vavra said he first became concerned about lead contamination in Aspen schools when he heard about issues in Boulder.

“What they found in most of the cases were some old water fixtures, some old water fountains, coolers that were in the buildings,” Vavra said.  

So Vavra is working with the City of Aspen to test all 40 water fountains in Aspen schools, and a bill that passed the state legislature this week could help defray costs.

That bill creates a program that allows schools that voluntarily test for lead contamination to apply for grants. It also prioritizes older elementary schools.

Roaring Fork School District officials said they were interested in learning more, but have no immediate plans to test water.