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Testing Water for Lead in City Schools
 
Last summer, the District worked in collaboration with the Monroe County Department of Public Health to test fountains and sinks used for drinking water in city schools. The tests followed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines which stated that lead in water should not exceed 20 parts per billion (ppb). 

Per new regulations established by New York State in September of 2016, school districts are now required to test additional water outlet locations and take action on all those that exceed 15 ppb, including the fixtures tested over the summer.

In January, the District completed this testing and identified that of more than 4,000 tests, 163 outlets tested above the 15 ppb for lead. Those outlets have been either labeled “DO NOT DRINK THIS WATER,” or turned off. Any fixture that was left on but labeled as not safe for drinking can be safely used for sanitary purposes such as handwashing and dishwashing. The results will be posted here by March, 2017.

Both the New York State Department of Health and the Monroe County Department of Public Health have advised that school drinking water is not a significant source of lead. The Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning notes that paint in older homes and renovation projects that do not follow lead-safe work practices are the main sources for childhood lead poisoning. To learn more, please read a letter from the Coalition which can be found online at www.letsmakeleadhistory.org.

The District will continue to take the necessary steps to provide safe drinking water for all students and staff. For more information, visit the EPA website and read the parent communications attached below. Should you have additional questions, please call the District’s Environmental Health & Safety office at 336-4005.

 

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