The Tide

Unsafe lead levels found in drinking water at several MCPS schools

sdflkjlsfj
Back to Article
Back to Article

Unsafe lead levels found in drinking water at several MCPS schools

sdflkjlsfj

sdflkjlsfj

sdflkjlsfj

sdflkjlsfj

Melissa Thomas

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Recent lead samples taken from 21 Montgomery County schools show a concerning amount of lead in the drinking water. Some schools had concentrations that exceeded state standards and are well past the acceptable limit set by the EPA (20 parts per billion).

Lead is a toxic metal that can be found in the fountains and faucets of public buildings. In accordance with a Maryland bill that requires the periodic tracking of water in public schools before July first of this year, contractors were hired in February by MCPS to test lead levels. Before the bill was passed in 2017, the last check for lead levels was in 2007.

The elevated lead levels could be attributed to many possible scenarios that occurred over the past 11 years, including the contamination of the water supply by the erosion of fountain fixtures or pipes.

One of the most dangerous aspects of lead is that its smell and taste are masked in water, enabling it to go undetected. There is no way to tell if the water is contaminated unless regular tests are done or until people start showing symptoms of lead indigestion months or years later. The latter has already occurred in Flint, Michigan, where 9,000 kids were exposed to lead.

Symptoms of lead poisoning include abdominal pain, loss of appetite, fatigue, irritability and kidney dysfunction. Serious cases of lead digestion can lead to long term nerve damage and memory loss in adults but young children are at an even greater risk as they can develop intellectual disabilities.

Because not all 205 schools in MCPS have been tested for lead, there is no concrete plan of action as of yet. MCPS, however, may decrease lead levels by following the EPA’s 3Ts Technical Guidance for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water.The 3Ts places emphasis on training school officials to raise awareness of the effects of lead in drinking water, testing drinking water in schools, and telling each school community about monitoring programs, risks, testing results, and remediation actions. Currently, all results from the tests taken so far are available on the MCPS website.

Featured photo courtesy of NBC News

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Unsafe lead levels found in drinking water at several MCPS schools

    News

    IB seniors explore the Museum of Modern Art in New York City

  • Unsafe lead levels found in drinking water at several MCPS schools

    News

    RM Journalism meets the Newseum

  • Unsafe lead levels found in drinking water at several MCPS schools

    News

    MCPS returns to the 10-day spring break for 2019-2020

  • Unsafe lead levels found in drinking water at several MCPS schools

    News

    MCPS Board of Education now features all women

  • Unsafe lead levels found in drinking water at several MCPS schools

    News

    Midterm results bring new goals to local education policy

  • Unsafe lead levels found in drinking water at several MCPS schools

    News

    RM sees groundswell of student political involvement

  • Unsafe lead levels found in drinking water at several MCPS schools

    News

    Mr. Chase’s class wins annual canned food drive and aims high for next year

  • Unsafe lead levels found in drinking water at several MCPS schools

    News

    Honors Physics students take learning to the trees

  • Unsafe lead levels found in drinking water at several MCPS schools

    News

    Students puzzle their way through Mole Week

  • Unsafe lead levels found in drinking water at several MCPS schools

    News

    Montgomery County Executive Race comes to an end

Navigate Right
The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School
Unsafe lead levels found in drinking water at several MCPS schools