Lead in water testing report released

UPDATE: April 7, 2021

Dozens of water sources were tested in January and February 2021 by the school district in every school building. The school district has worked to lessen the amount of lead in water pipes at the school district. The last tests of water in lead pipes was done in 2016.

The May 18 capital project will also include funding to continue removing lead piping from the school district.

Here is the list of water sources at each building that were tested. Any test results above 15 ug/L (micrograms per liter/parts per billion) are highlighted in yellow on this report. Those locations are marked with a sign to not be used for drinking purposes.

Letter from Superintendent Susan Swartz about the lead in water testing program at Scotia-Glenville.

This is the state-mandated lab analysis of the test results.

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

Background on lead

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.

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.