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Testing Water for Lead

Testing Water for Lead
*Updated September 21 2018 
(See charts below & updates on mitigation.)

Testing water for lead became a law in New York State on September 6, 2016. Under the law, school districts must collect samples from every source of water used for drinking and cooking.

If a water outlet is found to have a lead level above the state's "action level" of 15 parts per billion (ppb) the district:
  • must take immediate steps to prohibit use of the outlet for drinking or cooking

  • implement a remediation plan

  • ensure that students and staff have an adequate supply of water for drinking and cooking

All of the elementary school sources and most of the secondary sources in the district have been tested.  Links to the results are below.  Those sources that resulted with a level above 15 ppb have been sealed off, closed, water shut off and labeled not to use. Each of the sources is being evaluated. Once the fixture and any associated pipes and fittings are replaced, the water will be retested. The source will not be unsealed and re-opened until the remediation plan is complete and follow-up results reveal lead levels are well below the EPA's recommended level. We will provide status updates on the remediation plan for these sources.

While it is not required - but since we are committed to minimizing student and staff exposure to lead in drinking water - we are taking proactive measures with a plan to mitigate the lead level in any source in which it currently exceeds 5 ppb.

Elementary Schools
Each of the drinking and cooking sources  in the Schenectady City School District elementary schools were tested in September.  Out of the 246 samples that were tested, ten had a lead levels above the state's action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb).  *  UPDATED September 21 2018 below.

                                   

 School Number of
Sources
>15 ppb
* Updates
September 2018

>15 ppb
SCSD Enhanced
Plan of
Remediation
>5 ppb
 Howe ES  0  0  9
 Fulton 1 1 3
 Hamilton ES 0  0  1
 Keane ES 0  0   3
 Lincoln ES 1 1 2
 King ES 2  1  7
 Paige ES 0  0  9
 Pleasant Valley ES 1 0 1
 Van Corlaer ES 0  0  2
 Woodlawn ES 0  0 2
 Yates ES 4  2 9
 Zoller ES 1  0 7
       

*Updates on Mitigation
All potable water fixtures at Howe Elementary School were tested on May 21 2018.  Results are below the actionable level with most having none detectable.

After replacement of fixtures at Fulton, Lincoln, MLK and Yates, water was re-tested.  The lead levels were still high in one fixture at each of the schools.  In an attempt to further remediate, more piping and replacement of the shut-off valves and accessible piping will be removed.  This work will occur and retest completed before the end of September 2018.

Pleasant Valley and Zoller fixtures were remediated and retested on May 21 2018.  All fixtures passed.

Additional mitigation, of fixtures still not passing after re-test, will take place before the end of September 2018.

Secondary Schools
Each of the drinking and cooking sources in Central Park Middle School, Mont Pleasant Middle School,  Oneida Middle School, Schenectady High School, SCLA and WIEC have been tested. 
*UPDATED September 21 2018 below.

 ​
 School Number of
Sources
>15 ppb
  *Updates
September 2018

>15 ppb
 
SCSD Enhanced
Plan of
Remediation
>5 ppb
Central Park Middle School 2  0 9
Mont Pleasant Middle School  24 0  18
Oneida Middle School 0  0 24
Schenectady High School 90  90 62
SCLA 15  1 10
WIEC 11  0 6

*Updates on Mitigation
All fixtures were remediated and re-tested at Washington Irving on September 7 2018.  All readings are at acceptable levels.

All fixtures at Central Park Middle School were remediated and retested on May 21 2018.  All readings are at acceptable levels.

All fixtures at Mont Pleasant Middle School were remediated and rested on May 21 2018.  All readings are at acceptable levels.

Remediation of the fixtures at  Schenectady High School is ongoing. Many of the fixtures were not able to be replaced over the summer months.  The water could not be shut off due to ongoing abatement in the tunnels.  Fixtures will be ready to re-test by the end of September 2018.

Additional mitigation, of fixtures still not passing after re-test, will take place before the end of September 2018.


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that lead in drinking water is a health concern at certain levels of exposure.Lead is found throughout the environment in lead-based paint, air, soil, household dust, food, certain types of pottery porcelain and pewter and water.Lead can pose a significant risk to your health if too much enters your body. It builds up in the body over many years and can cause damage to vital organs.Children six years old and younger are most susceptible to the effects of lead.Lead in the blood of children can result in behavior and learning problems, hyperactivity, slowed growth, hearing problems and anemia. According to the EPA, while lead in drinking water is rarely a sole cause of lead poisoning, it can make up 20 percent or more of a person’s total exposure to lead.

If you have concerns about your own or your child's exposure to lead, please talk with your pediatrician, physician or local health agency.Your doctor can do a simple blood test to check for lead exposure.

If you have questions, please contact your child's principal.
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