Mt. Laurel School District releases latest testing results for lead levels in schools’ water

Harrington Middle School, the latest school tested, has tested negative for lead in water exceeding the EPA’s allowable limit.

Harrington Middle School and has tested negative for the presence of lead in its water that exceeds the EPA’s allowable limit.

That was the news out of the Mt. Laurel Board of Education’s most recent meeting, where officials shared the results of the district’s latest round of lead testing.

Testing has been ongoing at schools throughout the district since September due to new state guidelines requiring all districts in New Jersey to test for lead at all faucets and fountains in their schools within the next year.

According to the district, testing was completed at 40 locations within Harrington Middle School in December, and no sample exceeded the EPA’s standard limit of 15.5 parts per billion.

“We have no issues at Harrington Middle School with lead,” reported school district business administrator Robert Wachter.

Harrington Middle School was the last of the district’s buildings built before 1986 to require testing.

The district chose to test those buildings first, as in 1986 Congress passed a law requiring only lead-free materials to be used in plumbing construction thereafter.

Buildings where the district already completed testing earlier this school year include Fleetwood, Parkway, Hillside and Countryside elementary schools.

According to the district, all fountains and faucets at those buildings are now either testing free of lead or showing lead below the EPA’s allowable limit.

“So far, we’ve done pretty well,” Wachter said.

Countryside Elementary was the last of those buildings where testing was required, which was completed in December and focused on a lone fountain at the school that was not cleared during initial testing conducted in October.

According to the district, during initial testing, a drinking fountain at Countryside showed lead at 77.8 parts per billion, above the EPA’s limited of 15 parts per billion.

Although tests showed lead below the EPA’s allowable limit after the fountain was flushed, the district replaced the fountain regardless.

Upon re-testing in November, the new fountain once again showed levels above the EPA’s limit. The district said the fountain was then flushed again as recommended.

The district said testing conducted in December now shows lead levels are “well below” the EPA’s allowable limit. According to the district, no further remedial action is necessary.

According to Wachter, the district will next test Larchmont Elementary, built in 1990, during the upcoming Presidents Day weekend holiday.

Then, during spring break, the district will finish testing with the newer Hartford School and Springville Elementary School.

For additional information on lead safety and lead testing for the water at district schools, visit the district’s website at www.mtlaurelschools.org and the EPA website at www.epa.gov/lead.