State law requires districts to address water quality in schools.
Maryland Code 6-1501. Definitions
(a) In general. -- In this subtitle the following words have the meanings indicated.
(b) Drinking water outlet. --
- (1) "Drinking water outlet" means a potable water fixture that is used for drinking or food preparation.
- (2) "Drinking water outlet" includes:
- (i) A water fountain, faucet, or tap that is used or potentially used for drinking or food preparation; and
- (ii) Ice-making and hot drink machines.
(c) Elevated level of lead. -- "Elevated level of lead" means a lead concentration in drinking water that exceeds the standard recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in technical guidance.
(d) Public water system. -- "Public water system" has the meaning stated in § 9-401 of this article.
(e) Technical guidance. --
- (1) "Technical guidance" means the most recent technical guidance issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for reducing lead in drinking water in schools.
- (2) "Technical guidance" includes:
- (i) 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools (2006); and
- (ii) Any subsequent technical guidance issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for reducing lead in drinking water in schools.
Maryland Code 6-1502. General consideration.
(a) Applicability. -- This section does not apply to a public or nonpublic school that is classified as a public water system.
(b) Adoption of regulations. --
- (1) Subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection, the Department, in consultation with the State Department of Education, the Department of General Services, and Maryland Occupational Safety and Health, shall adopt regulations to require periodic testing for the presence of lead in each drinking water outlet located in an occupied public or nonpublic school building.
- (2) Before adopting the regulations required under this section, the Department shall gather information about the testing processes, protocols, and efforts being undertaken by each county school system and private school to establish a safe and lead-free environment, including whether the school system or school has a plan for testing and, if appropriate, remedial measures.
(c) Regulations -- Contents. -- Regulations adopted under this section shall:
- (1) Require initial testing to be conducted on or before July 1, 2018;
- (2) Phase in the implementation of the required testing beginning with:
- (i) School buildings constructed before 1988; and
- (ii) School buildings serving students in a prekindergarten program or any grade from kindergarten through grade 5;
- (3) Establish a sampling method for the required testing that is consistent with technical guidance;
- (4) Establish the frequency for the required testing;
- (5) Address best practices and cost-effective testing;
- (6) Require test samples from drinking water outlets to be analyzed by an entity approved by the Department;
- (7) If an analysis of a test sample indicates an elevated level of lead in a drinking water outlet, require that:
- (i) The results of the analysis be reported to the Department, the State Department of Education, the Maryland Department of Health, and the appropriate local health department;
- (ii) Access to the drinking water outlet be closed;
- (iii) An adequate supply of safe drinking water be provided to school occupants;
- (iv) The school take appropriate remedial measures, including:
- Permanently shutting or closing off access to the drinking water outlet;
- Manual or automatic flushing of the drinking water outlet;
- Installing and maintaining a filter at the drinking water outlet; or
- Repairing or replacing the drinking water outlet, plumbing, or service line contributing to the elevated level of lead;
- (v) The school conduct follow-up testing; and
- (vi) Notice of the elevated level of lead be:
- Provided to the parent or legal guardian of each student attending the school; and
- Posted on the website of the school; and
- (8) If an analysis of a test sample indicates a concentration of lead that is more than 5 parts per billion but less than the standard for an elevated level of lead, require that the results of the analysis be reported to the Department, the State Department of Education, the Maryland Department of Health, and the appropriate local health department.
(d) Waiver from testing. -- The Department, in consultation with the State Department of Education, may grant a waiver from the testing required under this section if:
- (i) The drinking water outlets in the school building have been tested for the presence of lead in a manner that substantially complies with regulations issued under this section; and
- (ii) The test results indicate no elevated levels of lead in any of the drinking water outlets in the school building;
- (i) Students in the school building do not have access to any drinking water outlet; and
- (ii) Bottled water is the only source of water for drinking or food preparation in the school building;
- (3) A plan is in place for testing the drinking water outlets and addressing any elevated level of lead in a drinking water outlet in the school building in a manner that substantially complies with the regulations required under this section; or
- (4) The local school system has:
- (i) Completed comprehensive lead testing of the drinking water from plumbing fixtures; and
- (ii) A comprehensive monitoring program to ensure safe drinking water in its schools.