DCS conducts required testing of water for lead levels
Oct. 18, 2016
On Sept. 6, 2016, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new law that requires public schools in New York to test for lead levels all water sources currently or potentially used for drinking or cooking purposes. The new law makes New York the first state in the nation to require all of its public schools to conduct lead testing on all sources of potable water.
Schools are required to submit to a lab samples of water drawn from every source (faucet, fountain, spigot, etc.) in their buildings that could be used for drinking, cooking and hand washing. The state established an action level of 15 micrograms of lead per liter, typically referred to as “parts per billion" (ppb).
If the lead level from a water source exceeds the action level, schools must take steps to prevent the use of the source for drinking or cooking purposes until it is remediated and follow-up testing confirms it is no longer above the action level.
Duanesburg Central School District receives its water for the elementary school from wells and for the high school from the Village of Delanson. In September, samples of water from all sources in Duanesburg Central School District buildings were sent to an independent, state-approved lab in accordance with the new state law. Per regulations, all samples were "first draw," which means there has been no water flow for at least eight hours.
For Duanesburg Elementary School, of 71 water sample results returned to the district so far, 16 showed lead levels above the state-specified action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb). All of the faucets with those levels were immediately taken out of service and bottled water has been provided. The faucets will remain out of service until it is determined whether the faucets or the lines need replacing. Once replacements are made, the district will have the water from those sources retested to make certain it is below the action level before it is put back into use.
The district is working with the Schenectady County Health Department and its engineers to resolve all water issues immediately and will notify parents/guardians as soon as the faucets are back in service.
Fact Sheet: New state law means public schools will test for lead
Basic information about lead in drinking water (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
For questions or concerns, please contact Superintendent Chris Crowley at firstname.lastname@example.org or (518) 895-2279.