Test results of school drinking water were released today [Tuesday, April 13] for four more schools – Broad Acres Elementary, Cabin John Middle School, Stephen Knolls School, and Wheaton High School – and each of the schools were found with some elevated levels of lead. At the same time, the testing process has been expanded to 20 additional schools.
Elevated levels of lead – exceeding the standard of no more than 20 parts per billion (ppb) – have been found in some samples in every school tested in the school system, thus far. The high samples in each school will be retested to determine the validity of the results.
All of the schools are participating in the comprehensive drinking water safeguards that include flushing all designated drinking water sources for 15 minutes every four hours, starting before children arrive for school in the morning and continuing throughout the day. These safeguards were developed by the school system and the Montgomery County Health Department, consistent with guidelines from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Thus far, the school system has collected water samples from all of the original 20 sample schools and has begun testing a second group of sample schools. Results of the initial testing, however, have been delayed by backlogs in the analysis of the water samples. Testing results are available for nine schools, including the four announced today.
Efforts are under way to speed up the water analysis by the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission and streamline the sample collection and reporting process by the Montgomery County Public Schools. The school system is now using a new barcode system that will make the process more efficient.
Second group of sample schools to be tested:
East Silver Spring Elementary School
Poolesville Elementary School
Montgomery Knolls Elementary School
Whetstone Elementary School
Weller Road Elementary School
Twinbrook Elementary School
New Hampshire Estates Elementary School
Bells Mill Elementary School
Wheaton Woods Elementary School
Brown Station Elementary School
Glenallan Elementary School
Watkins Mill Elementary School
Galway Elementary School
Stedwick Elementary School
Bel Pre Elementary School
Lake Seneca Elementary School
Brookhaven Elementary School
Clopper Mill Elementary School
Carl Sandburg Special Center
Paint Branch High School