Aug 09, 2019

Maryland Schools Test for Elevated Levels of Lead

School system tested 31 of the 37 schools in the district for lead

School system tested 31 of the 37 schools in the district for lead

In Maryland, Hartford County Public Schools tested more than 6,000 water sources in the schools, as of Aug. 6, 2019. The district found that more than 9% of water sources tested came back at “actionable levels” so far. The sources included kitchen sinks, handwashing sinks, water fountains and water sources not in use. Some school officials were not surprised by the results, reported The Baltimore Sun

“The reality is we’re dealing with old sinks, some have lead fittings,” said Cornell Brown, assistant superintending of operations, according to The Baltimore Sun. “Out of 6,000 sources tested, 24 fountains have come back above the action level. That says to me the fountains are fine. The water isn’t bad.”

The school system tested 31 of the 37 schools in the district after the Maryland General Assembly passed a bill in 2018 requiring all school water outlets on public water to be tested for lead in drinking water, according to The Baltimore Sun

Brown has assured parents with students that the drinking water is fine, according to The Baltimore Sun. Two schools, Darlington Elementary and Forest Lake Elementary, tested for lead levels below 20 ppb. According to The Baltimore Sun, eight of the 29 schools tested had water sources with double digit lead levels. 

The school that had the most sources of drinking water that tested positive for lead contamination above action levels, 150, was Bel Air Middle School. According to The Baltimore Sun, it found lead levels in drinking water higher than 20 ppb. 

If a capital project was taken, features would be replaced in schools with a large number of actionable water sources, according to The Baltimore Sun

Brown commented that the schools will not replace the science labs sinks in the building because they are safe for use but not for drinking.

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