Lead in Water Testing Results

Under Maryland law*, schools that are served by public water are required to test for the presence of lead in all drinking water outlets.  As required, Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) has been testing water outlets at schools for the presence of lead. FCPS began sampling in January 2022 and will continue to test for the remainder of the 2021-2022 school year.

The law and associated regulation define drinking water outlets used for drinking water and food preparation, such as an ice 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.

All results will be published on the FCPS website and families will be notified of results when they are posted. Full lab reports are also posted for public viewing. Accredited labs have been contracted to perform the analysis of collected samples.

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

  • Confirming the location of each water fixture.
  • 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, additional steps are taken to remediate and retest.

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

*Testing for Lead in Drinking Water - Public and Nonpublic Schools (Chapter 386 (House Bill 270), Acts of 2017) and School Buildings - Drinking Water Outlets - Elevated Level of Lead (Safe School Drinking Water Act) (Chapter 237 (House Bill 636), Acts of 2021)