Carnegie Mellon University
October 21, 2016

CMU Taking Precautionary Effort To Test Water Quality

Carnegie Mellon University’s Environmental Health and Safety Department is proactively testing the drinking water in all campus buildings built before 1986 for elevated levels of lead. Lead pipes and solder were widely used in plumbing fixtures before they were prohibited in 1986.

CMU is taking the precautionary step following recent tests by the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority that found elevated lead levels in 17 of 100 randomly selected residential properties in Pittsburgh.

No lead was found in samples taken from the Cyert Center for Early Education in Morewood Gardens and the Children’s School in Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall, and there are no other indications of any lead in water at CMU, according to Madelyn Miller, director of Environmental Health & Safety.

Additional water samples have been collected from 150 individual fountains in academic and administrative buildings and sent to an accredited laboratory for testing. In order to allow water to sit in pipes for a period of time before testing, “do not use” signs were posted on fountains in these buildings.

Test results for samples taken from the academic and administrative buildings are expected by the end of October.

Drinking water in all university-owned residence halls will be tested beginning in early November, and residents will be given advance notice.

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority offers residential customers free tests for lead. To request a test, residents should send email to or call 412-782-7554.