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Water Boards: Financial Assistance Programs - Grants and Loans

Drinking Water For Schools Grant Program

Drinking Water for Schools

The Drinking Water For Schools Grant Program is coming soon to provide $9.5 million in funding to improve access to, and the quality of, drinking water in public schools pursuant to Senate Bill 828.

To receive information on the program as it is developed, please sign up on our email list under contact information below.

Please refer to these Guidelines for important information about the grant program.



Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) and its partners will be holding four informational workshops throughout California. The workshops will provide more in-depth information about the program, the application process, availability of technical assistance, and an opportunity to ask questions.

WORKSHOP 1 – Sacramento

Monday, September 11 at 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
RCAC Headquarters, Sal Solinas Conference Room
3120 Freeboard Drive
West Sacramento, CA

This session will also be webcast, session registration link here.

WORKSHOP 2 – San Diego

Monday, September 18 at 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, Board Hearing Room
2375 Northside Drive
San Diego, CA

This session will be webcast live on the CalEPA Public Meeting page here. The video link will become active 15 mins prior to the webcast start time on the day of your meeting.  Webcast attendees may submit questions during the workshop to DFA_Grants@waterboards.ca.gov

WORKSHOP 3 – Chico

Tuesday, September 26 at 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Community Housing Improvement Partnership
1290 Notre Dame Blvd.
Chico, CA

An email will be sent to our email list if the session sponsor is able to webcast the event, or with any new information. Sign up to receive Drinking Water For Schools emails below.

WORKSHOP 4 – Visalia

Thursday, September 28 at 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Community Water Center
900 West Oak Ave.
Visalia, CA

An email will be sent to our email list if the session sponsor is able to webcast the event, or with any new information. Sign up to receive Drinking Water For Schools emails below.


The State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water, in collaboration with the California Department of Education, has taken the initiative to begin testing drinking water in schools (K-12) for lead. Schools that are served by a municipality, water district, mutual water company, or other public water system may request assistance from their public water system to conduct water sampling for lead and to provide technical assistance if an elevated lead sample site is found. Information regarding the program is available on the website: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/drinking_water/certlic/drinkingwater/leadsamplinginschools.shtml


Senate Bill 828, in part, added Section 116276 to the Health and Safety Code. It requires that the State Water Board establish a program to award grants to local educational agencies for the purpose of improving access to, and the quality of drinking water in public schools. The program gives priority to:

  • Projects for schools within, or serving pupils from, a small disadvantaged community, as defined in Section 13193.9 of the Water Code.
  • Projects that have high effectiveness in increasing access to safe drinking water at schools.

Eligible projects shall include, but are not limited to, funding for the following:

  • Installation or replacement of water bottle filling stations or drinking water fountains with or without treatment devices capable of removing contaminants present in the school's water supply;
  • Installation of point-of-entry (POE), or point-of-use (POU) treatment devices for water bottle filling stations, drinking fountains, and other fixtures that provide water for human consumption, including up to three years of: replacement filters, operation and maintenance (O&M), and monitoring of POE or POU devices;
  • Installation, replacement, or repairs of drinking water fixtures and associated plumbing appurtenances that are necessary to address lead contamination identified by a school's public water system pursuant to the Lead Sampling of Drinking Water in California Schools program and that requires a corrective action; and
  • Provision of interim alternative water supplies for applicants in the process of implementing a permanent solution, including purchases of temporary transfer water, hauled water, and bottled water.
On May 16, 2017, in Resolution No. 2017-0032 the State Water Board adopted the Drinking Water For Schools Grant Program Guidelines. These Guidelines establish the process and criteria that the State Water Board will use to solicit applications, evaluate then select proposals, and award grants.

SB 828 also requires that the State Water Board provide technical assistance to applicants, including completing applications, overseeing installations, and assisting with operation and maintenance.


Senate Bill 826 (Stats. 2016, ch.23) made $500,000 in funding available for technical assistance to eligible applicants. Technical assistance includes, but is not limited to, the following activities:
a) Assistance with identifying low-cost, sustainable solutions to providing access to safe drinking water.

b) Assistance with evaluating contamination levels of specific contaminants using existing data and information.

c) Assistance with completion and submittal of the Drinking Water for Schools Grant Program funding application.

d) Assistance with procuring necessary engineering and other contracting services necessary for completion of eligible projects.

e) Reviewing or developing project alternatives, and assistance with identifying cost-effective solutions that result in high effectiveness.


Eligible Applicants: Local educational agencies serving K-12, and pre-school and child day care facilities, located on public school property.
Eligible Project Types: See Overview
Funding Available: $9.5 million for grants; $500,000 for technical assistance
Funding Source: General Fund
Loans or Grants: Grants


Program Milestones Dates
Release of draft Guidelines for review March 10, 2017 (Completed)
Guidelines Adoption May 16, 2017 (Completed)
Selection of Technical Assistance Provider May 16, 2017 (Completed)
Technical Assistance Provider Under Contract June 2017 (Completed)
Open Solicitation End of September 2017 (Estimated)
Deadline for small DAC prioritization June 2018 (Estimated)
Deadline to Encumber Requested Funds June 30, 2019
Deadline to Expend Awarded Funds March 31, 2021
Funding Appropriation End Date June 30, 2021


Funding Application – coming soon

Agreement Template - coming soon

Solicitation Notice & FAAST Application - coming soon


Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF)

Cleanup and Abatement Account (CAA)


Kim Hanagan, P.E.
Senior Water Resources Control Engineer, Program Manager
(916) 449-5646

Daron Pedroja, Environmental Scientist
(916) 319-9123

Ravi Jawanda, Water Resources Control Engineer
(916) 341-5865

Division of Financial Assistance
Drinking Water For Schools Grant Program
1001 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

letter  Sign up for the Drinking Water for Schools email list ("Financial Assistance"; section) to receive updates on this program as it is developed