Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 5: Facilities, Supplies, Equipment, and Environmental Health

5.2 Quality of the Outdoor and Indoor Environment

5.2.6 Water Supply and Plumbing Water Supply

Content in the STANDARD was modified on 05/17/2016 and 8/27/2020.


Every facility should be supplied with piped running water under pressure, from a source approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and/or the regulatory authority, to provide an adequate water supply to every fixture connected to the water supply and drainage system. The water should be sufficient in quantity and pressure to supply water for cooking, cleaning, drinking, toilets, personal hygiene, water play, and outside uses.1

Water supplied by a well or other private source should meet all applicable health and safety federal, state, tribal, and local public health standards and should be approved by the local regulatory health authority. Well water should be tested annually for pH (acidity levels to determine whether the water is corrosive) and for bacteria, parasites, viruses, and chemical content (including, but not limited to, arsenic, radon, methyl tert-butyl ether, lead, nitrates, heavy metals, or other runoff chemicals) or according to local regulatory health authority.2,3 Any facility not served by a public water supply should keep on file documentation of approval, from the local regulatory authority, of the water supply.


A water supply that is safe and free from harmful substances and microorganisms and does not spread disease is essential to the health of children enrolled in early care and education programs.



The following resources provide additional information on water supply standards/guidelines:


US EPA Public Water System Supervision Program Water Supply Guidance Manual


US EPA Drinking Water Requirements for States and Public Water Systems: Lead in Drinking Water in Schools and Childcare Facilities


National Drinking Water Alliance


California Childcare Health Program Health & Safety Notes: How to Find Out if Your Drinking Water Is Safe

Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Testing of Drinking Water Not From Public System Testing for Lead and Copper Levels in Drinking Water Water Test Results
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Water, sanitation, & hygiene-related observances. Groundwater Awareness Week. Reviewed March 2, 2020. Accessed May 18, 2020
  2. US Environmental Protection Agency. Protect your home’s water. Testing wells to safeguard your water. Updated August 8, 2019. Accessed May 18, 2020

  3. US Environmental Protection Agency. Potential well water contaminants and their impacts. Updated August 8, 2019. Accessed May 18, 2020


Content in the STANDARD was modified on 05/17/2016 and 8/27/2020.