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High levels of lead found in some Anne Arundel County Public Schools drinking water

Posted at 10:03 PM, Feb 25, 2019

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WMAR) — Test results have concluded that 105 drinking water outlets in Anne Arundel County Public Schools have elevated levels of lead.

Lead testing in drinking water became mandated after House Bill 270 was signed into law and went into effect on April 9, 2018.

Anne Arundel County Public Schools say they began testing in mid-March of 2018. As of February 14, 2019, 13,322 water outlets have been sampled, with 12,165 showing no signs of elevated lead levels.

However, 672 did come back elevated. Officials say only 105 (0.79 percent) of those are actual drinking water outlets. Each of the affected drinking fixtures have been shut off and replaced according to the school system.

A drinking water outlet is defined in the law 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 teacher's 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 requires that testing only be done during the school year, and prior to the morning arrivals of students and staff, to prevent compromised sampling. Officials say all testing should be completed by July 1, 2019.

While students are permitted to bring and carry their own water bottles if they choose, the school system says there are enough working drinking water outlets at all Anne Arundel County Public Schools.