Last Updated September 11, 2018
As of this date, over 6,000 water sources have been tested in Harford County Public Schools
since the end of the 2018 school year. Of those 6,000 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, 558 water source samples returned with what are considered,
“actionable levels.” Of those 558 water sources, 24 are water fountains. The 24 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
The law requires that schools “must test for the presence of lead in all drinking water outlets”
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
a kitchen sink, a classroom combination sink with drinking fountain, a sink in a home economics
a teachers’ lounge sink, a nurse’s office sink, a sink in a special education classroom, and any
known to be used for human consumption. Also, according to COMAR, a “drinking water outlet” does
“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 is being done by HCPS personnel and/or an accredited independent laboratory. HCPS
sampled 11 schools before the
end of the 2017-2018 school year. As results are received, if levels exceed the action level,
is provided to parents/guardians and staff. Results can also be found on this page. Full results
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, with the intent that all
testing will be
completed by July 2019. We will, as the law requires, sample each school once every three (3)
that point unless a waiver is granted for a school.
information about the law can be found on the Maryland Department of the Environment
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
water outlet where elevated lead levels have been found has been turned off until repairs can be
and new testing is done. Sufficient drinking water outlets without elevated lead levels exist
and staff in all schools.
In accordance with the law, retesting will be done at any site where a fixture has been
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,
Lead Sampling Tracking Action Levels
Testing not yet completed
Results received - no outlets
over the action level
Results received with