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.
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.