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Water Quality Program

Water Splash

Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) is committed to providing safe learning and working environments. For more than a decade, PGCPS has worked to provide students and staff with safe drinking water in compliance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mandates.

Since 2004, we have methodically addressed lead in water, with drinking sources as our priority. The final phase was completed January 30, 2018. Prior actions included sampling and testing all water sources; flushing, replacing or valving off fixtures; and providing bottled water when drinking sources could not be cleared expeditiously. 

The final phase of our Water Quality Program allowed for retesting of all drinking sources currently in use and the installation of filtered water fountains throughout the school system.

We will continue to address this issue aggressively and provide safe drinking water in all schools and offices.

Program Background 

The 2004 Lead in Water Program was initiated as a response to public concerns in Washington, DC regarding lead in pipes. PGCPS launched several phases of lead remediation to address drinking water sources that tested above the EPA action level, requiring additional actions to reduce the lead content in water, such as flushing the system, replacing pipes and fixtures, or completely valving off fixtures. Water from sinks in classrooms, bathrooms, kitchen hand-washing stations, custodial closets and library storage rooms are not to be used for drinking use.

Phase IV, completed January 30, 2018, consisted of comprehensive testing and remediating the remaining fountains and sinks that tested above the action level. Filtered water fountains are being installed throughout the school system. Signage indicating not to ingest water will be installed at all sink locations.

Phase III consisted of remediating Phase II laboratory results. Fixtures that tested above the EPA action level were remediated and retested. Fountains that tested above the EPA action level after remediation were valved off. They are no longer in use. Bottled water was provided to any facility where lead was found in significant numbers of drinking water fixtures.

Phase II consisted of randomly testing selected classroom sinks and fountains.

Phase I consisted of testing hallway, multi-purpose room, and gymnasium fountains and kitchen food preparation sinks. Those fixtures that tested above the EPA action level were remediated or outfitted with filters and retested before being cleared for usage.

During the construction of new schools, the water is tested at the property line and from all drinking water sources. Any water that tests above 10 parts per billion (ppb) will be remediated.

Program Timeline


  • PGCPS has adopted a 5ppb lead level for water testing.



2017/2018: Phase 4

All drinking sources were retested. Request for Proposals (RFP) to remediate remaining classroom water fountains and sinks throughout the system expected for submission by summer. Fixtures that test above EPA-recommended levels after remediation will be taken out of service. 

The RFP will include filtered water fountains to be installed throughout the school system.

During the construction of new schools, water will be tested at the property line and from all drinking water sources. Any water that tests above 10ppb will be remediated.

2009/2016: Phase 3

  • Remediation activities include replacing fixtures or piping, valving off where necessary and retesting. Fixtures that tested above EPA-recommended levels were taken out of service.

2008/2009: Phase 2

PGCPS samples and retests remaining water sources, such as classroom sinks and fountains, lavatory sinks, office sinks, and teachers’ lounge sinks.


17,406 samples in Phases 1 and 2

  • 5,238 (approximately 30%) found to be at or above the 20ppb EPA action level. Exempt fixtures, including hose bibs, lavatory faucets and custodial utility sinks, were removed from the total number of fixtures that tested above action level.
  • The remaining fixtures, direct sources of drinking water were addressed in the second segment of Phase 2 to include additional sampling and testing for quality control.
  • The final segment of Phase 2 was the remediation of select fixtures and fountains throughout the school system, followed by additional quality control sampling.
  • Actions included flushing, valving off the fixture, replacing pipes and/or fixtures, and providing bottled water.
  • Fixtures that tested above EPA-recommended levels were taken out of service.

2004: Phase 1

Sampling and testing for lead of primary drinking sources, including food preparation sinks, cooking kettles and fountains in hallways, multipurpose rooms and gymnasiums.


2,600 samples in Phase 1

  •  2,516 (approximately 90%) found to be at or above the 20 parts per billion (ppb) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) action level. Through follow-up quality control sampling, 87 fixtures were immediately remediated, retested and cleared for use.
  • Download 2004 Lead Testing Report