LIVERMORE FALLS — Test results for lead in 102 water fixtures in the five Regional School Unit 73 buildings show 15 with levels higher than 4 parts per billion.

Levels above 4 ppb exceed Maine guidelines under LD 153, An Act to Strengthen Testing for Lead in School Drinking Water. The state levels are stricter than the federal standard of 15 ppb.

In May school was canceled for a day in RSU 9 when results from their tests showed 54 of 117 (approximately 46%) fixtures used for drinking water and food preparation with elevated levels of lead. That district has seven schools.

While the state deadline for testing was pushed back from May 31 to December, fixtures in all Spruce Mountain buildings were tested on April 14 during school vacation, Superintendent Scott Albert said in an automated release. The district must share results within five days of receipt and look for mitigating strategies going forward, he noted.

Results from the elementary school in Jay, primary school in Livermore and adult education building in Livermore Falls were shared Wednesday, June 8. Results from the middle and high schools in Jay were shared June 13.

The recommendation from the Maine CDC Water Program is to test water after it has not been run from the faucet for many hours, Albert said in an email June 14. “(Maintenance director) Ken (Vining) tested over vacation so the faucets he tested sat for many hours,” Albert noted. “Levels are different based on use of the faucet in some cases and then age of the faucet, and whether or not there is lead in the solder or fixtures.”


In the five buildings about 14.6% of fixtures tested above the recommended level of 4 ppb.

Of the 20 fixtures at the elementary school, seven tested between 4.4 and 9.0 ppb. The Room 4 nurse’s office sink had a level of 51 ppb while the art room sink was 54.3 ppb.

When asked if he had received any indication on why the nurse’s office and art room sinks at the elementary school tested above 50 ppb yet the rest of the school was all under 10 ppb, Albert responded, “It’s possible the faucets are older and haven’t been changed out, most likely lead solder in fittings and/or water set in those lines stagnant for a longer time.”

The 19 tests at the primary school showed the kitchen sink dish wash and rinse faucet with a level of 18.9 ppb and the one for the kitchen triple basin sink at 6.5 ppb. All other fixtures were below 4 ppb.

The three fixtures at the adult education building were all under 4 ppb as were the 43 tests at the middle school.

At the high school four fixtures in the kitchen tested above 4 ppb with the other 13 below 4 ppb. The faucet over mixer B was 22.2 ppb, faucet over mixer A was 19.2 ppb, triple basin sink B was 4.6 ppb and the ice machine was 4.2 ppb.


“At this time the drinking fountains as well as the water that we will continue to use for cooking in these buildings have passed the new guidelines,” Albert wrote in the automated response. “Signs have been placed on water sources stating not to use.”

When asked Tuesday, he indicated summer programs offered by the district would not be impacted as all meals would be packed lunches and not cooked from the high school. “There is no impact to the staff as long as they do not drink the water from the high test areas,” he noted.

“Research has found that in most cases it is not the water source itself but the fixtures or solder which contain lead,” the automated notice indicated. “This is a health and safety issue, but not an emergency issue.”

In his email Tuesday Albert wrote, “We will address all fixtures that tested over the recommended levels this summer. Several will be capped off and done away with, others will receive new piping and fittings. They will all have a confirmation test performed.”

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