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.
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.
Testing results at the middle school
At the middle school, 49 faucets and drinking fountains were tested, and none were found to contain lead levels that exceeded the state’s action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb) or .015 mg/L, and thus no remediation is necessary.
Testing results at the elementary schools
Water samples were collected from more than 170 faucets and drinking fountains at all five of the elementary buildings. Of those samples, 21 were found to contain lead levels that exceeded the state’s action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb) or .015 mg/L. The fountains/sinks from where these samples were drawn were immediately taken out of service.
Outlets taken out of service include:
- At Boulevard Elementary: Two classroom drinking fountains in rooms 100 and 101
- At Kingsborough Elementary: Two sinks outside the pre-k wing and one sink in room 209
- At McNab: Elementary Eight sinks in rooms 119, 121, 123, 125, 127, 202A, 212 and 224
- At Park Terrace Elementary: Seven sinks in rooms 117, 201, 211, 212, 215, 226, 227
All samples collected at Meco Elementary tested below the state’s action level, and thus no remediation is required.
Testing results at the high school
At the high school, water samples were collected from 53 water outlets. Of those samples, four sinks were found to contain lead levels that exceeded the 15 ppb action level and one sink, in the former school store, matched the action level of 15 ppb. The sinks from where these samples were drawn were immediately taken out of service.
Sinks taken out of service at GHS include:
- one sink in room 105A
- three sinks in room 108
one sink in the clothing donation room
Water outlets at the athletic concession stands and at the Buildings and Grounds/Regional Transportation Center on Route 29A were also tested. None of these water outlets were found to contain lead levels that exceeded action level.
The district will notify families of any additional actions regarding water testing or remediation that may be necessary moving forward.