KENNEBUNK – Testing of water from  172 water fixtures in Regional School District 21 schools turned up four instances where lead levels were above the state’s acceptable limit of 4 parts per billion. The federal acceptable limit is 15 parts per billion.

All Maine schools are required to test for the presence of lead in water. In RSU 21, there were four instances in 172 tests where the lead content was above the state’s acceptable limit. All were in sinks, which have been taken out of service. Brianna Soukup photo/Press Herald

In all instances where tests were taken earlier this year, the fixtures – all sinks – have been taken out of service. The water will be retested, and the fixtures removed and replaced – or simply removed and the water source closed if the sink is not needed and if testing continues to be above the accepted state levels.

At Sea Road School, a sink in the STEM room tested at 5.5 parts per billion, according to results. It has been taken out of service, and if retest results remain above acceptable levels, the sink will be removed and the water source closed, according to information on the RSU 21 website.

At Kennebunk High School, a kitchen sink tested 4.5 parts per billion; At Kennebunk Elementary School, a kitchen hand sink tested 4.4 parts per billion. A sink near a dishwasher at Middle School of the Kennebunks tested 32 parts per billion.

Tests conducted at Mildred L. Day School in Arundel Consolidated School in Kennebunkport all tested under the 4 parts per billion accepted state level.

The Maine Legislature has mandated that all K-12 schools in Maine test their drinking water for the presence of lead. The testing program, paid for through a federal grant, began last fall and is scheduled to wind down May 31.

Exposure to lead can cause learning disabilities and developmental challenges in children.

According to the Maine CDC Drinking Water program, when lead is present in water, it typically leaches, or dissolves, into water flowing through plumbing and fixtures inside a building from sources such as solder, pipes, or faucets. A school’s public water supply or well water are unlikely sources of lead.

For results in schools statewide, visit

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