Lead Water Sampling Begins on October 1st – Info, Training, and Resources Available

It’s time to start sampling your school’s water for lead!

On October 1, 2021, schools may order sample bottles to begin testing drinking and cooking water fixtures for lead. Maine schools need to either work with their local water professionals or use the provided training materials to identify water sampling locations, collect water samples, coordinate with A&L Laboratory, report results, and follow up with plans/procedures/actions based on the sampling results. If you haven’t done so already, your school should designate someone for this responsibility.

Instructions and training videos can be found online at https://leadtestingmaineschools.com/.

  • Testing for lead follows a very specific process. Carefully read the instructions before taking your first sample. Each step must be followed carefully and in the correct order.
  • If you have any questions or wish to order sample bottles, call A&L Lab at (207) 784-5354 or email them at lead@granitestateanalytical.com.
  • Samples that are improperly taken or submitted will not be analyzed; this will be considered a failure to monitor, at which point the school will be out of compliance with State law.

IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER:

  • Water must sit idle in the pipes for at least 8 hours before sampling. Do not run or flush the water before collecting your sample.
  • Avoid collecting your samples during or immediately after long school breaks. Samples collected should represent normal water usage at your school.
  • Samples must be returned to A&L Lab within 14 days of being taken. A completed Chain of Custody must accompany your samples. Samples received late or without the correct documentation will not be analyzed.
  • Communicate testing results to parents.

For assistance or to order your sample bottles, contact A&L Lab: Phone: (207) 784-5354 – email: lead@granitestateanalytical.com

Reminder: School Revolving Renovation Fund Deadline is Oct 29

As a reminder, the Maine Department of Education (DOE) is accepting applications to receive funding for school renovation projects through the School Revolving Renovation Fund (SRRF). The application deadline is October 29, 2021.

The Maine DOE will be able to approve approximately $45 million in SRRF loans. A portion of each loan will be considered a grant and will be forgiven. The remaining portion will be paid back over either five or ten years with no interest. The maximum loan amount is limited to $1 million per school building per priority in any five-year period.

Applications for “Priority One” and “Priority Two” projects will be accepted. Eligible Priority One projects will receive funding preference over Priority Two projects.

  • Priority One projects include indoor air quality improvement, structural roof repair, hazardous material abatement or removal, ADA compliance upgrades, and other health, safety and compliance renovations.
  • Priority Two SRRF projects include school building structures, windows and doors, and water and septic systems.

The SRRF 2022 application and additional information are available on the Maine DOE’s SRRF website. For more information or technical assistance, contact Ann Pinnette at (207) 624-6885 or email ann.pinnette@maine.gov.

Prepare for Fall 2021 Lead Testing in Schools

The Maine Legislature passed a law requiring all school drinking and cooking water fixtures be tested for lead. All schools will either need to work with their local water professional or use the provided training materials to identify water sampling locations, collect water samples, coordinate with the designated laboratory, report results, and follow up with plans/procedures/actions based on the sampling results. Schools should designate someone for this responsibility.

Samples can be ordered on October 1st, 2021. To begin preparing for your sampling, visit our website at www.medwp.com/schools.html to download instructions.

Communication is Key

Before you begin sampling for lead in your school’s drinking water, it’s recommended that you communicate your efforts to parents and guardians. Make it known that by collecting lead water samples, your school is working toward creating a healthier and safer learning environment for students.

Staying ahead with your messaging is proactive and builds trust.  Attached is a template your school can use to develop your messaging:

If you have specific questions about the program you can contact the Drinking Water Program at 207-287-2070. You can also visit Maine’s Childhood Lead Poisoning website, or by calling 866-292-3474.

Informational Risk Summary: Education Facilities Subsector

The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Department of Homeland Security have published a Cyber Risk Summary: Education Facilities Subsector

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) vulnerability management Cyber Hygiene Vulnerability Scanning performed between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020—identified the following vulnerabilities on Education entity IT assets. Note: This fact sheet uses data collected from Education Facilities Subsector entities as defined in the Government Facilities Sector Specific Plan. The Education Facilities Subsector consists of private and government-owned K-12 and higher education institutions.

View the full summary here

Questions can be sent to CISA at CSD_VM_Insights_Intake@cisa.dhs.gov. If you have feedback specific to your experience with this product, please send CISA your input by filling out the CISA Product Survey

School Renovation Funding Available

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is accepting applications to receive funding for school renovation projects through the School Revolving Renovation Fund (SRRF). The application deadline is October 29, 2021.

The Maine DOE will be able to approve approximately $45 million in SRRF loans. A portion of each loan will be considered a grant and will be forgiven. The remaining portion will be paid back over either five or ten years with no interest. The maximum loan amount is limited to $1 million per school building per priority in any five-year period.

Applications for “Priority One” and “Priority Two” projects will be accepted. Eligible Priority One projects will receive funding preference over Priority Two projects.

  • Priority One projects include indoor air quality improvement, structural roof repair, hazardous material abatement or removal, ADA compliance upgrades, and other health, safety and compliance renovations.
  • Priority Two SRRF projects include school building structures, windows and doors, and water and septic systems.

The SRRF 2022 application and additional information are available on the Maine DOE’s SRRF website. For more information or technical assistance, contact Ann Pinnette at (207) 624-6885 or email ann.pinnette@maine.gov.