272711 A public health, school district and public drinking water agency collaboration to ensure access to drinking water in public schools

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 2:45 PM - 2:57 PM

June Weintraub, ScD , Environmental Health Section, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, CA
Mina Mohammadi, MPH , Environmental Health, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, CA
Two laws stipulate a requirement that schools provide access to clean drinking water in California during meal times: Health, Hungry-Free Kids Act of 2010 and CA SB1413. In San Francisco, the local public health department has built on established partnerships with the local school district and the public drinking water supplier to install tap stations in public schools. The tap stations allow students to easily fill cups and reusable containers throughout the day, providing more access to clean drinking water and reducing solid waste. In a phased program, water fountain/bottle filling combination stations are being installed at eating areas (cafeterias, multi-purpose rooms, etc.) as required by CA and Federal legislation. Each school receives water bottles for sale or distribution, depending on available funding. The water bottles are not customized so as to promote use beyond attendance at a particular school and feature a white field on which students can write their name. The program is accompanied by a curriculum to educate students on the safety of the local tap water, the nutritional benefits of consuming water instead of sweetened beverages and the environmental benefits of reusable bottles. To evaluate the impact of the program, a survey to measure water consumption and other beverage use was designed to be administered before and after the installation of new water stations. The pre- and post-installation questionnaire results allow an assessment of the impact that new filling stations have on students' water consumption and understanding of reasons behind students' beverage consumption choices. The results of the evaluation can be used to tailor future messages to promote tap water among students.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe how a local health department can collaborate with the local school district and the public drinking water supplier to ensure access to drinking water in public schools. 2) Discuss issues in implementing and evaluating the implementation of a program to improve access to drinking water in the public school environment.

Keywords: Water, Environmental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: June Weintraub, ScD is Senior Epidemiologist at the San Francisco Department of Public Health. For more than ten years, Dr. Weintraub has collaborated closely with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission on health issues related to the drinking water supply and water resource utilization. She has served on multiple advisory committees, and in July 2010 Dr. Weintraub was appointed to a three-year term on the U.S. EPA's National Drinking Water Advisory Council.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.