Operations

Florida legislators introduce bill to require lead-removing filters on water sources in schools

The bill identifies such water sources as any used for drinking, food preparation or cooking.
A water bottle filling station.
Photo: Shutterstock

New legislation proposed in Florida would require school districts to install filters on potable water sources in school cafeterias and other areas to remove lead.

Under SB 1648, introduced by State Senator Gary Farmer and State Representative Angie Nixon, schools would be required to install the filters by the start of the 2023-2024 school year.

The bill identifies such water sources as any used for drinking, food preparation or cooking.

Florida schools would be responsible for maintaining the filters and ensuring that they are functioning properly according to manufacturer instructions. They would also be required to install at least one water bottle filling station with a filter for every 100 students.

Water sources in schools that do not have a filter would need to be advertised as such and labeled as not for use for drinking or in food preparation and cooking. Each school would also have to publish a list of all water sources on its website and include information such as when current filters were installed and when they are scheduled to be replaced.

The bill would use funds allocated in the American Recovery Plan to pay for the filters.

“Within the last two weeks, the U.S. Department of Education released the final allotment of over $2 billion in funding coming from the American Recovery Plan Act,” Farmer said in a statement. “There’s a time limit on this funding, and ensuring clean drinking water for our kids is an unquestionable obligation for this Legislature.”

Trending

More from our partners