lead in water testing results released

october 18, 2016

Results of testing lead in the water at the four elementary schools have begun being returned to the school district by Pace Analytical, the company hired to test the samples collected in September.

As of today, only results from Glen-Worden and Lincoln have been received.

A total of 272 water samples were collected at S-G from elementary classroom sinks, drinking fountains and outside water taps. A total of 313 water samples will be collected from the middle and high schools in October.

If lead levels are detected above 15 parts per billion, the school must discontinue use of that tap for drinking water, implement a lead remediation plan and provide building occupants with an alternate water supply for cooking and drinking.

School districts will be required to collect and test samples every five years.

Here is a question and answer document from the state Health Department (PDF).

In cases where a water tap failed the lead test, a sign will be posted prohibiting the water from being used for drinking; that water source may be used to wash hands or for cleaning water. If a water fountain fails the test, it is shut off and not used.

Here are the results from the elementary schools:

Glendaal Elementary School: Eighty (80) water samples were taken at Glendaal. Of those samples, twenty-three (23) results showed lead levels higher than 15 ppb (parts per billion) which is the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA)/ New York State Department of Health acceptable level. The range of results was from 15.2 ppb (a men’s bathroom sink) to 88.3 ppb (a cafeteria exterior spigot). Those water sources, primarily classroom and custodial sinks, may not be used for drinking. No water fountains tested above 15 ppb.

Download the Glendaal report (PDF). The specific water tap testing begins on page 7.

Here is a list showing all water sources tested at Glendaal. The ones above the state maximum are highlighted in yellow (PDF).

Glen-Worden Elementary School: Sixty-eight (68) water samples were taken at Glen-Worden. Of those samples, twenty (20) results showed lead levels higher than 15 ppb (parts per billion) which is the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) / New York State Department of Health acceptable level. The range of results was from 15.2 ppb to 126 ppb. Those water sources, primarily classroom and custodial sinks, may not be used for drinking.  The reading of 126 ppb, a custodial slop sink, is out of line with the other readings (much higher) and will be retested. No water fountains tested above 15 ppb.

Download the Glen-Worden report (PDF). The specific water tap testing begins on page 7.

Here is a list showing all water sources tested at Glen-Worden. The ones above the state maximum are highlighted in yellow (PDF).

Lincoln Elementary School: Sixty-two (62) water samples were taken at Lincoln. Of those samples, nineteen (19) results showed lead levels higher than 15 ppb (parts per billion) which is the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA)/ New York State Department of Health acceptable level. The range of results was from 15.2 ppb to 59.8 ppb. Those water sources, primarily classroom and custodial sinks, may not be used for drinking. One drinking fountain tested above the 15 ppb and that has been shut off.

Download the Lincoln report (PDF). The specific water tap testing begins on page 7.

Here is a list showing all water sources tested at Lincoln. The ones above the state maximum are highlighted in yellow (PDF).

Sacandaga Elementary School: Seventy-seven (77) water samples were taken at Sacandaga (including two in the Field House). Of those samples, fourteen (14) results showed lead levels higher than 15 ppb (parts per billion) which is New York State’s acceptable level. The range of results was from 16.5 ppb (a bathroom sink) to 335 ppb (also a bathroom sink) The reading of 335 ppb is far higher than any other reading in the school so it will be retested. No water fountains tested above 15ppb.

Download the Sacandaga report (PDF). The specific water tap testing begins on page 7.

Here is a list showing all water sources tested at Sacandaga. The ones above the state maximum are highlighted in yellow (PDF).

Scotia-Glenville Middle School: One hundred twelve (112) water samples were taken at the middle school. Of those samples, fifteen (15) results showed lead levels higher than 15 ppb (parts per billion) which is New York State’s acceptable level. The range of results was from 16 ppb (a classroom sink) to 110 ppb (a custodial closet sample). Those water sources may not be used for drinking. The district will post signs at each of those sources stating the water is not for drinking but may be used to wash hands. All of the water fountains in the school tested below 15 ppb.

Download the Middle School report (PDF). The specific water tap testing begins on page 7.

Here is a list showing all water sources tested at Middle School. The ones above the state maximum are highlighted in yellow (PDF).

Scotia-Glenville High School: Two hundred thirty-five (235) water samples were taken at the high school. Of those samples, eighty-four (84) results showed lead levels higher than 15 ppb (parts per billion) which is New York State’s acceptable level. The range of results was from 15.1 ppb (an office sink) to 658 ppb (also a sink). Those water sources may not be used for drinking. The district will post signs at each of those sources stating the water is not for drinking but may be used to wash hands. All of the water fountains in the school tested below 15 ppb.

Download the High School report (PDF). The specific water tap testing begins on page 7.

Here is a list showing all water sources tested at High School. The ones above the state maximum are highlighted in yellow (PDF).

 

Over the next several weeks, the district will be developing and implementing a remediation plan that will determine what other actions will be taken. In addition, the full reports from all water testing completed at all schools will be posted on the district website.

 

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Lead is a toxic material that is extremely harmful to young children and can result in lowered IQ, behavioral problems and brain damage.

Pursuant to the accompanying regulations, samples collected must be 250 milliliters and taken from a cold water outlet where the water has been motionless in the pipes for a minimum of 8 hours but not more than 18 hours.

Read more about the new legislation here - https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-signs-landmark-legislation-test-drinking-water-new-york-schools-lead

According to the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), lead can enter drinking water when service pipes that contain lead corrode, especially where the water has high acidity or low mineral content that corrodes pipes and fixtures. The most common problem is with brass or chrome-plated brass faucets and fixtures with lead solder, from which significant amounts of lead can enter into the water, especially hot water.

Homes built before 1986 are more likely to have lead pipes, fixtures and solder. Three of the elementary schools - Glendaal, Glen-Worden and Lincoln - were built in the early 1950s; Sacandaga was built in the late 1920s. The middle school was built in the early 1970s and the high school was built in the late 1950s.

Young children, infants, and fetuses are particularly vulnerable to lead because the physical and behavioral effects of lead occur at lower exposure levels in children than in adults. A dose of lead that would have little effect on an adult can have a significant effect on a child. In children, low levels of exposure have been linked to damage to the central and peripheral nervous system, learning disabilities, shorter stature, impaired hearing, and impaired formation and function of blood cells.

Children are exposed to lead in paint, dust, soil, air, and food, as well as drinking water. The EPA estimates that drinking water can make up 20 percent or more of a person’s total exposure to lead.

 

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