Sacramento State University is allowing consumers to instantly check the water quality at campus drinking fountains with nothing more than the swipe of their smartphone.
The effort comes after a student research project led to the discovery of elevated lead levels in water from some campus fountains.
Multiple rounds of testing confirmed that all drinking water at the campus meets or exceeds federal and state safety standards, according to Sacramento State officials.
Since January 2017, nearly 1,000 drinking-water sources have been tested for lead contamination, according to the university. When 42 were determined to have lead levels at or above the mandated 15 parts per billion (ppb), university leaders and consultants immediately launched a comprehensive plan to remove, replace or repair affected sources.
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In addition, work is ongoing to place at least one filtered water-filling station in every building on campus, said Daryn Ockey, director of facility operations, in a news release. The newly installed stations include filtration systems that remove lead and chlorine from drinking water, and include an LED filter-status indicator for when a filter change is necessary.
The new fountains, expected to all be installed during the spring semester, also include a “green ticker” that informs users of how many 20-ounce plastic water bottles have been saved from waste.
Sometime early in the spring semester, officials say all water-quality results will be at the fingertips of the campus community through an innovative technology program that increases transparency and accountability.
“For consumers interested in checking on the most recent water-quality readings, look for stickers placed on each fountain with a unique QR code,” says Gary Rosenblum, senior director for Risk Management Services. “When scanned, the code links directly to the most recent test results for that exact fountain, providing everyone with instant information they can use to be better informed.”