29 Oakland Unified Schools with lead in tap water

maps last updated Dec. 3, 2017 - this is the map of all 29 schools, there are detailed maps below

lead gets into school tap water

When water is distributed to homes, businesses, schools, churches and other built environments it starts off being monitored for safety and then travels to various destinations around a city. So, water that starts off safe at one location could travel through a network of older underground pipes which could contain lead or more recent copper pipes that are connected together with solder (which is lead). To really get a handle on these water issues a system that senses water quality all along the pipeline could help monitor quality from EBMUD all way through to drinking fountains, cooking water, showers, gyms, and other places where people are consuming or being exposed to water. 

Here's what Jason Pfeifle's says about the problems with lead in tap water:

"Since the Flint water crisis, more California schools are testing their drinking water for lead, and far too many are finding lead levels that threaten children's health. In Oakland, 29 schools have recently had at least one water tap test positive for lead.
The problem is that too many school buildings in our communities have lead-bearing plumbing and water fixtures that are leaching lead into the very water that kids could drink during recess and lunch.
And while Oakland Unified has begun to address the worst cases, more work needs to be done.
That's because low levels of lead exposure can be harmful to kids' overall growth and development. Recent research shows that even at blood levels below 5 micrograms per deciliter, lead can still cause diminished intellectual and academic abilities, higher rates of neurobehavioral disorders like ADHD, and poor growth in children. This is why pediatricians across the country stress that there is no safe level of lead for kids. And the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends a safety standard of 1 part per billion for lead in school drinking water."

8 schools have had at least 1 water tap test positive for lead between 10.1 - 20.0 ppb

2 schools schools have had at least 1 water tap test positive for lead between 30.1 - 40.0 ppb


*SmartOakland is not a health provider or lead abatement firm and the data and opinion provided in the description areas related to these maps are the opinion of members of SmartOakland.  Everyone is invited to do online research on lead poisoning and to validate these opinions with their health care providers.


Purpose of these maps

To educate the public and visualize data being reported by OUSD to explain the situation for the 29  Oakland schools that have tested positive for lead in tap water.

goals for these maps

Create transparency for constituents to understand the status of of remediation for lead found in school tap water and to create a open data platform to monitor accountability school water quality.

How these maps were created

Stephanie Hayden, Co-founder of SmartOakland, and Jason Pfeifle, Public Health Advocate for the California Public Interest Research Group (CalPIRG), worked together to gather OUSD water testing data posted in pdf document format and created datasheets that could be used with Geographic Information System (GIS) tools to plot this data on Google maps to show all 29 school locations for people to access via Internet browser or on mobile devices.

what icons mean & how you can use them

Red icons represent schools that reported at least one tap water location with elevated lead levels found, ranging between from 5 parts per billion (ppb) to 60+ ppb. This is a very wide range so we broke them down into smaller categories below.

No amount of lead is actually safe in drinking water - see the Environmental Protection Agency's guidance on lead in drinking water here

CalPIRG advocates for reducing the allowable limit to 1 ppb, but currently 15 ppb is considered unacceptable for tap water, by federal, state, and local law.

For context, 5 ppb is what is currently allowed in bottled drinking water.

You can click on the red icon to see the school name, test levels, and pictures of the neighborhood.

making updates to these maps

SmartOakland refers to the data provided by OUSD when they publish updates. These maps are not intended to provide project management level details and are meant to visually reflect whether a location is currently reported as having unacceptable levels of lead in tap water.

If anyone has questions or wants to report school updates that are not reflected here they are welcome to contact lead@smartoakland.org or call SmartOakland directly: 510-833-6591

13 schools have had at least 1 water tap test positive for lead between 5-10 ppb

3 schools schools have had at least 1 water tap test positive for lead between 20.1 - 30.0 ppb

2 schools schools have had at least 1 water tap test positive for lead between 50.1 - 70.0 ppb