Lead in Water Testing Results

On May 4, 2017, HB 270 was signed into law, requiring schools that are served by public water to test for the presence of lead in all drinking water outlets.  As required by the legislation, Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) has been testing water outlets at schools for the presence of lead. FCPS began sampling in October 2018 and will continue to test for the remainder of the 2018-2019 school year. See the October news release here.

The law and associated regulation define drinking water outlets as "an ice-making machine, a hot drink machine, a kitchen sink, a classroom combination sink with drinking fountain, a sink in a home economics classroom, a teachers’ lounge sink, a nurse’s office sink, a sink in a special education classroom, and any other sink known to be used for human consumption." The law and regulation also mandate that sampling must be done while school is in session. Therefore, no sampling could be done over the summer months.

More information about the law can be found on the Maryland Department of the Environment website.

The law and regulation require parents be notified of results, even if those results show levels below the threshold of 20 parts per billion.  Microbac Laboratories and Fredericktowne Lab, independent and accredited labs, have been contracted to perform the analysis of collected samples. As results arrive, staff and parents are provided with a several-page summary about the water testing on the FCPS website.  Full lab reports are also posted for public viewing.

The sampling process is defined by the regulation and the preparations that were required for sampling include:

  • Confirming the location of each water source.
  • Prior to any sample that is taken, it is a requirement that the water has to sit in the pipes between 8 and 18 hours.
  • All samples must be taken before students and staff arrive at school in the morning because if outlets are turned on and water flows, the integrity of sample is compromised.

If an exceedance is detected, a flush sample is collected and the outlet is shut off within 24 hours of FCPS receiving results.  FCPS will perform remediation on fixtures with exceedances.

For questions about lead in water testing at FCPS, contact Laura Olsen, Environmental Compliance & Occupational Safety Manager at laura.olsen@fcps.org.

Important Notice: Water Sample Result(s)

FCPS will post results for additional schools as we receive them.