Last Updated December 11, 2018

    In response to requirements stipulated in HB 270, passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Larry Hogan on May 4, 2017, Queen Anne’s County Public Schools (QACPS) has been testing water outlets at schools for the presence of lead.  The law requires that schools “must test for the presence of lead in all drinking water outlets” in schools that are served by public water.

    The Final regulation became effective April 9, 2018.  QACPS began sampling in June 2018.

    The law and 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.

    QACPS sampled all schools, even those served by well water (not required by law). The law and regulation require parents be notified of results, even if those results show levels below the threshold of 20 parts per billion.

    In addition to outlets designated as drinking water outlets, QACPS tested “Bathroom and classroom sinks not clearly signed as not a drinking water outlet…” as stipulated in the regulation.

    The sampling process is defined by the following regulation and preparations:

    • 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 the sample is compromised. 

    As of December 11, 2018, QACPS has results from 1,639 outlets.  Of those, 1478 do not have elevated levels of lead, and 161 have elevated levels of lead.  Of the 161, eight are drinking fountains with the remainder being mainly classroom or science lab sinks.

    The water fountains were re-tested and then shut off.  They have been removed completely or the fixture will be replaced and tested before being put back in service.

    There are sufficient working drinking water outlets at all schools so that bottled water is not needed.