MCPS Needs to Act Fast on Lead Contamination

by Frank J. Platko ’18

Elevated lead levels have shown up in water samples taken from four public elementary schools and a middle school in Montgomery County, according to reports released this week. As part of a countywide, comprehensive analysis of drinking water across 205 schools, the first batch of returns came from fourteen schools, five whose drinking water contains elevated levels of lead contamination: Gaithersburg, Summit Hall, New Hampshire Estates and Pine Crest elementary schools and Eastern Middle School.

It’s important that MCPS takes quick, decisive action to address this issue. Lead contamination is very dangerous and potentially harmful to students, staff and other school members if not treated properly. Water from a faucet at Eastern Middle in Silver Spring had a lead concentration of about 65 parts per billion, more than three times the recommended limit.

We’ve seen the effects of lead contamination in places like Flint, Michigan, where thousands of residents have been affected and the community is still struggling to deal with the problem after several years. MCPS must take action quickly and efficiently to ensure the safety and well-being of members in the school community.