Maryland law (Chapter 386, 2017) requires all occupied public and nonpublic schools, serving children in prekindergarten to grade 12, that receive drinking water from a public utility to test for the presence of lead in all drinking water outlets.
The first round of sampling required all school buildings serving students in prekindergarten through grade 5 and school buildings built before 1988 complete lead testing by July 1, 2018.
House Bill 270 was signed into law on May 4, 2017.
The regulations (COMAR 26.16.07 Lead in Drinking Water - Public and Nonpublic Schools) became effective on April 9, 2018.
All occupied public and nonpublic schools serving children in pre-kindergarten to grade 12 that receive drinking water from a public utility.
Schools that have their own individual well(s) and are already required to test for lead under the federal Lead and Copper Rule are not covered.
The law does not apply to facilities that are solely licensed by the Maryland Office of Child Care, such as daycare centers.
All public and nonpublic schools, grades pre-K through 12, must test for the presence of lead in all drinking water outlets.
Testing is to be conducted once every three years and must be performed during the regular school year while school is in session.
Testing will be phased in based on age of construction of the school building and age of the students:
Yes. To apply for a deferral from initial sampling, a school must complete the application form developed by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE).
A school can request a deferral of no more than three years if all of the following criteria are met:
Previous testing was conducted using sampling protocols that are consistent with those outlined in COMAR 26.16.07.07
Sample analysis was performed by a state-certified laboratory
All sample results were less than 20 ppb
A school can request a deferral of no more than 12 months if all of the following criteria are met:
The school has a plan in place to test all drinking water outlets
The plan includes actionable steps to be taken if elevated levels of lead are found in any of the drinking water outlets
Yes. A waiver indefinitely exempts a school from testing for lead in all drinking water outlets until the school no longer meets the conditions of the waiver. There are three types of waivers for which a school can apply:
Type 1 - Prior Testing
No earlier than five years before the effective date of the regulations (April 9, 2018), the school has tested all drinking water outlets for the presence of lead in a manner that complies with the regulation;
A state-certified laboratory analyzed each of the test results; and
All test results are at a level of 5 ppb or lower.
Type 2 - Bottled Water
Only bottled water is used for drinking water and in food preparation, including ice making, in the building; and
Occupants do not have access to water from any drinking water outlet.
Type 3 - Lead-Free Building
The service line and plumbing connecting the school to the water main are lead-free as defined by Section 1417 of the Safe Drinking Water Act; and
All interor plumbing in the school is lead-free as defined by Section 1417 of the Safe Drinking Water Act; and
All drinking water outlets are lead-free as defined by the Annotated Code of Maryland, Business Occupations and Provisions Article, §§12-101, 12-605.1, and 12-605.2
Lead samples may be collected by school personnel, laboratories, or other parties. The person who collects the samples does not need to be a state-certified water sampler. However, the samples must be analyzed by a laboratory certified by the State of Maryland to perform Metals 1 (lead and copper) analysis.
As of March 11, 2019, MDE has received a total of 36,316 first-draw lead sample results from 12 public school systems, 143 nonpublic schools, and five charter schools. Of this number, 1,354 samples (3.7%) exceeded the Action Level (AL) of 20 parts per billion (ppb) of lead. Of the samples that exceeded the Action Level, 621 (45.9%) were from drinking water outlets and 709 (52.4%) were from non-consumption outlets. There were 24 samples (1.8%) that exceeded the Action Level for which a use determination could not be made. The following tables present the above information in greater detail and will be updated as more data becomes available.
Summary of First-Draw Sample Results for Public, Nonpublic, and Charter Schools
MDE has received 710 applications for a twelve-month deferral from initial testing, and, in consultation with MSDE, has granted approval to 705 applications. Of the remaining 5 applications, 4 did not meet the requirements for approval and 1 is under review. MDE has received 115 applications for three-year deferrals in initial testing; 88 of these did not meet the requirements for approval, and the remaining 27 are under review. MDE has received 130 applications for waivers from testing; 114 did not meet the strict requirements for approval, and the remaining 16 are under review at this time. The following tables present the above information in greater detail and will be updated as more data become available.
Summary of Deferrals
Summary of Waivers
All test results (non-elevated AND elevated) must be sent to Local Health Department Contacts
All elevated test results must be sent to the Maryland Department of Health: email@example.com
When emailing forms, please name the forms using the following format: Name of form_name of school
Waiver Application Type 1 - Prior Testing
Waiver Application Type 2 - Bottled Water
Waiver Application Type 3 - Lead-Free Building
12 Month Deferral Application Form
3 Year Deferral Application Form
Sample Collection Form
Additional copies of Page 2
Lead Sample Summary Certification Form
Laboratory Results Reporting Form
Important Notice: Elevated Lead Sample Result(s) Template
Certification for Elevated Lead Sample Result (s) Notice
Remedial Plan of Action Form
Completion of Remediation Form
Flowchart of Testing Requirements
Timelines for Initial Testing and Deferred Testing
State-certified Laboratory List
Lead Sample Collection Instructions
MDE Training Presentation
Example Signage for Outlets
3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools
EPA Action Levels for Lead (Federal Lead and Copper Rule vs. Maryland House Bill 270)
House Bill 270
Public Comments and Responses
Public School Construction (PSC) #s. Click on "Facility Inventory" and use the search tool to find your school.
Nonpublic School IDs. Click on the county in which your school is located. Schools are listed alphabetically with the corresponding ID number.
Church Exempt School IDs
List of Approved Montessori Schools
Health Effects of Lead
Fact Sheet: Lead in Drinking Water Coolers - Models of water coolers with lead-lined tanks and/or other lead components (2 pages)
Questions? Call 410-537-3729 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230