Update on water tests
Nov. 7, 2016; Updated Dec. 22, 2016
Dec. 22, 2016: Here is an update from Superintendent Crowley on water testing for lead levels at Duanesburg schools. "
All faucets/fixtures that failed have been shut off and will be replaced and retested under the guidance of the health department. We eliminated the water fountains in the 3rd and 4th grade classrooms and put in a new water fountain/bottle filler in that hallway. All of the new water fountains/bottle fillers tested below one part per billion for lead.
"At the high school, we have posted 'non-potable water' on the lab sinks, the coach's sink and slop sinks used by custodians. Faucets/fixtures were replaced and re-tested. We are waiting for the Schenectady County Health Department to give us recommendations on the shower that failed, which we will follow.
"All of our testing has been posted to our website. [See below] We added specific locations to each sample tested to make it easier for you to interpret.
"Thank you for your patience as this has been an arduous process to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff. As always, they remain our most important priority."
[If you are unable to access PDFs and need printed copies of the reports, please contact the DCS Superintendent's office at email@example.com or by calling 895-2279.]
The following article was posted on Nov. 7:
DCS received HS water test results
Duanesburg Central School District has received results of lead-level tests of water sources in the high school. The district previously received and reported results of tests in the elementary school.
A new law signed by Gov. Cuomo this fall requires public schools in New York to test for lead levels all water sources currently or potentially used for drinking or cooking purposes. DCS receives its elementary school water from wells and high school water from the Village of Delanson. In September and October, samples of water from sources in both buildings were sent to an independent, state-approved lab in accordance with the law. Per regulations, all samples were "first draw," which means there had been no water flow for at least eight hours.
In the high school, 75 faucets were tested and seven showed lead levels above the state-specified action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb). None of the faucets were water fountains. Four were science lab sinks, two were sinks in the Family And Consumer Science (FACS) classroom (minimally above the action level) and one was a hand-washing sink used only occasionally by sports referees in their changing room.
The FACS sinks were turned off. Other sinks in that room can still be used. The science and hand-washing sinks are posted with signs that say "Non-Potable Water – Do Not Drink."
In the elementary School, of 71 water samples tested, 16 showed lead levels above the state-specified action level of 15 ppb. All of the faucets were immediately taken out of service.
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 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. Under the law, 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.
DCS continues to work with the Schenectady County Health Department and its engineers to resolve all water issues and will keep parents/guardians and staff informed.
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.