According to Maine Law LD 153, statewide testing for lead in all school water sources will occur by May 31, 2022 thanks to a federal grant. As with most schools in Maine constructed decades ago, pipes, solder, and brass fixtures can be a potential source of lead so any water used for drinking or cooking purposes will be sampled. Maine's drinking water threshold is no more than 4 parts per billion (ppb); whereas the federal threshold is 15 ppb. Any fixtures exceeding the Maine threshold for lead must be reported to the public within five (5) days of the findings.
As we currently undergo testing at our schools, we were not surprised to learn from a recent Press Herald article that approximately one-third of the Maine schools already tested have come back positive. Fortunately (ironic to see a positive outcome from the pandemic), all our school water fountains were closed the last two years and were only recently flushed and opened. Any water sources above the threshold will immediately be removed from service, flushed for mitigation, and resampled to determine the source of the lead–fixtures versus pipes–to perform remediation.
Please review the Maine CDC Information Sheet and EPA Flyer to learn steps to protect yourself in your home as well.
5/9/2022 - Maine Drinking Water Program Update: Deadline Extension for School Lead Sampling