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Water Testing


In September 2016, a state law went into effect that requires all public school districts to test water for lead. The law requires school districts to sample all water outlets currently or potentially used for drinking or cooking purposes in buildings that may be occupied by students and to submit those samples to a state approved lab for analysis. Regulations call for testing to take place again in 2020 and every five years thereafter, unless the state Commissioner of Health requires testing sooner. Water quality testing was initiated in all district buildings in August 2016 and then again in February 2021.

The state established an action level of 15 micrograms of lead per liter, typically referred to as “parts per billion (ppb).” If a sample from a water outlet exceeds this level, schools must take steps to prevent the use of the outlet for drinking or cooking purposes until it is remediated and follow-up testing confirms it is no longer above the action level. School districts are required to report the results of all water testing to the state Department of Health, the state Education Department and the local health department, and to post the results—along with remediation plans, if required—on the official district website.

Lead-Free Buildings Notification

Lead-free, as defined by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, is based on the lead content of plumbing materials. Federal laws enacted in 1986, and updated in 2011, limit the amount of lead that can be used in new plumbing and fixtures. A building can be deemed lead-free if it was built after Jan. 4, 2014, or a New York State licensed Professional Engineer or Architect certifies it to be lead-free. Under New York’s new law, school districts are not required to conduct water testing in buildings designated as lead-free. The district has no buildings designated as lead-free, as defined by the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

More information and links to additional resources can be found on the EPA website under “Basic Information about Lead in Drinking Water” or the New York State Health Department page.

Please contact your building principal if you have questions or need more information.

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