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Water Safety Testing Results

Last Updated February 24, 2020

Over 6,500 water sources have been tested in Harford County Public Schools during the 2018 school year. Of those water sources, which include kitchen sinks, hand washing sinks, water fountains, and water sources that were not actively in use at the time the samples were taken, 633 water source samples returned with what are considered, "actionable levels." Of those 633 water sources, 28 are water fountains. The 28 water fountains have been shut down and are no longer in use. Signs have been posted at all of the sinks to make visitors aware of the test results.

In response to requirements stipulated in HB 270, passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan. Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) 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 Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) defines a "drinking water outlet" as "a potable water fixture that is used for drinking or food preparation." According to COMAR, such outlets include 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. Also, according to COMAR, a "drinking water outlet" does not include "an outlet clearly signed as not a drinking water outlet."

HCPS has also tested outlets such as all bathroom sinks and places from which water is not intended to be consumed.

Sampling was done by HCPS personnel. If levels exceeded the action level, the information was provided to parents/guardians and staff. Results can also be found on this page. Full results are also available at all schools where testing has been completed and lab reports have been received.

As allowable under the law, HCPS has standing approval until July 1, 2019, to sample the remaining schools in our county. The law requires that school be in session when testing is done, and was completed by July 2019. We will, as the law requires, sample each school once every three (3) years after that point unless a waiver is granted for a school.

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

With regard to remediations, we are replacing, disconnecting or clearly marking the outlet as not a drinking outlet at any interior fixture where samples show a level higher than the allowable 20 parts per billion. Any consumable water outlet where elevated lead levels have been found has been turned off until repairs can be completed, and new testing is done. Sufficient drinking water outlets without elevated lead levels exist for students and staff in all schools.

In accordance with the law, retesting will be done at any site where a fixture has been replaced.

The documents provided to parents/guardians and staff also discuss the various ways in which humans can be exposed to lead and the potential risks associated with that exposure.

To see lead sampling testing results at a glance, click here   .