15A NCAC 18A .2815      WATER SUPPLY

(a)  In child care centers, the water supply shall meet the requirements of 15A NCAC 18A .1700 Protection of Water Supplies.  In addition, any center using a groundwater supply that serves 25 or more people shall provide documentation from the Public Water Supply Section that the well meets the requirements of 15A NCAC 18C.  A water sample shall be collected by the Department and submitted to a state certified laboratory for bacteriological analysis annually if the child care center is not served by a community water supply.  Other tests of water quality, as indicated by possible sources of contamination, may be collected by the Department.

(b)  Water under pressure shall be provided to meet the needs of cooking, cleaning, drinking, toilets, and outside uses in accordance with the North Carolina Plumbing Code.

(c)  No cross-connections with an unapproved water supply shall exist.  If the potential for backsiphonage or backflow conditions exist, an approved atmospheric vacuum breaker or backflow prevention device shall be installed in accordance with the North Carolina Plumbing Code.

(d) Water heating equipment shall be provided to meet the maximum hot water requirements of the child care center.  The capacity and recovery rates of water heating equipment shall be based on number and size of sinks, capacity of dishwashing machines, capacity of laundering machines, diaper changing facilities, and other food service and cleaning needs for child care centers not located in a residence.  Child care centers licensed for fewer than 13 children and located in a residence may use an existing water heater, or the equivalent replacement, if all required temperatures are maintained.  Hot and cold water under pressure shall be provided in all rooms where food is prepared, rooms in which utensils or equipment are washed, and other areas where water is required for cleaning and sanitizing, including diaper changing areas.

(e)  Hot water used for cleaning and sanitizing food utensils and laundry shall be provided at a minimum temperature of 120°F (49°C) at the point of use.  Water in areas accessible to children shall be tempered between 80°F (27°C) and 110°F (43°C).  For handwash lavatories used exclusively by school-age children, the 80°F (27°C) minimum temperature requirement shall not apply.  Hot water in an area accessible to any child, which is in excess of 120°F (49°C), shall be considered a burn hazard.  Child care centers serving only school-age children are not required to provide hot water in areas accessible to children.  In the event of the loss of hot water, the person in charge shall immediately contact the local health department.

(f)  Drinking fountains, if provided, shall comply with the North Carolina Plumbing Code, be separate from handwash lavatories, and kept clean.  The pressure shall be regulated so that an individual’s mouth does not come in contact with the nozzle and so that water does not splash on the floor.  Other approved dispensing devices may be used and shall be kept clean.

(g)  Outdoor drinking fountains shall be constructed to protect the spout from contamination and shall be kept clean.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 110‑91;

Eff. July 1, 1991;

Amended Eff. February 1, 1995;

Temporary Amendment Eff. April 15, 1998;

Amended Eff. April 1, 1999;

Temporary Amendment Eff. December 1, 1999;

Amended Eff. July 1, 2006; January 1, 2006; April 1, 2001.