This is a courtesy reminder to schools that per Maryland law, any drinking water outlets* for which test samples were analyzed on or before June 1, 2021, with lead results greater than or equal to 5.5** parts per billion (ppb) but less than 20.5** ppb, are subject to a remediation deadline of August 1, 2022 (see attached for initial notification sent on May 28, 2021).
This requirement does not apply to schools that have their own individual wells (i.e., non-transient non-community water systems) and are currently testing for lead in the drinking water under the federal Lead and Copper Rule (LCR).
On or before August 1, 2022, schools must take appropriate measures to remediate outlets described above, including:
Permanently closing off access to the drinking water outlet (including outlet removal)
Manual flushing*** or automatic flushing of the drinking water outlet
Installing and maintaining a filter at the drinking water outlet
Repairing or replacing the drinking water outlet, plumbing, or service line contributing to the elevated level of lead
Posting appropriate signage at non-consumption outlets****
*Maryland regulations consider any outlet connected to piped water to be a drinking water outlet unless it has signage clearly indicating it is not a drinking water outlet. Eyewash stations and showers are not valid sample sites, and should not be tested for lead.
**This deadline applies to lead sample results that are greater than 5 ppb and less than 20 ppb. Therefore, if a lead sample result, after rounded to a whole number, is either above 5 ppb or below 20 ppb, it is subject to the August 1, 2022, deadline.
***Manual flushing may be used as a remediation option only if flush samples show lead levels below Maryland’s current Action Level. Prior to implementing manual flushing, please contact MDE for additional requirements.
****Non-consumption outlets are outlets that are not used for drinking water and/or food/drink preparation. These outlets may include bathroom sinks, science classroom sinks, utility/mop sinks, outside hose bibs, etc. (if not used for consumption). Signage may not be posted at consumption outlets, such as drinking water fountains, bottle refill dispensers/water refill stations, refrigerator water dispensers, drink machines, kitchen sinks used for food/drink preparation, or outlets used for brushing teeth in schools with dormitories. For non-consumption outlets in special education classrooms, signage may be posted but it will not exempt an outlet from testing or remediation requirements.
This deadline requires schools to initiate appropriate remedial action by August 1, 2022, regardless of whether the remedial action is successful by this date. In other words, if multiple attempts are necessary to achieve successful remediation, schools are still considered to have met the deadline as long as at least one remediation attempt occurs on or before August 1, 2022.
An outlet is considered to be successfully remediated if either (1) follow-up (post-remediation) testing shows a lead level below 5.5 ppb, or (2) the outlet has been removed or permanently closed. If a non-consumption outlet has long-term signage posted, the outlet is exempted from remediation as long as signage remains in place.
As a reminder, until remediation is successful, schools must prevent physical access to water from the outlets with elevated lead results, or must post appropriate temporary signage at the outlet. Please note that temporary signage is only applicable for consumption outlets solely accessible by staff and for all non-consumption outlets.
It is important to note that reporting requirements relating to remediation remain unchanged. Schools should report all follow-up (post-remediation) test results within 10 school days of receiving the report from the laboratory. Once an outlet is known to have been successfully remediated (i.e., post-remediation results less than 5.5 ppb, or outlet permanently closed/removed), schools should submit a Completion of Remedial Action Form to MDE within 30 school days of receiving the lab results, or 30 school days of permanently closing/removing the outlet.
Please be sure to maintain a record of all remedial actions taken (including dates), so that all of the remedial actions taken can be accurately reported in the Completion of Remedial Action Form.
For more details on reporting requirements, please refer to Testing Requirements and Related Documents.
We appreciate your efforts to meet the requirements of Maryland’s law and regulations. Please contact the Water Supply Program at 410-537-3729 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
MDE's “Testing for Lead in Drinking Water - Public and Nonpublic Schools” web page
Initial notification regarding new law sent on May 28, 2021