In September 2016, a state law went into effect that requires all public school districts in New York 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 micro grams 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. Results for Capital Region BOCES’ three school buildings are posted below.
Water Testing Results for 2016
Re-Testing Results and Remediation Plans
February 1-2, 2018 Testing
Nine out of more than 200 water outlets potentially used for drinking or cooking in three Capital Region BOCES-owned schools tested for lead at levels higher than the state’s action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb), on Feb. 1-2, 2018.
New water fountains are scheduled to be placed in the main hallway of every building in the near future.
Two water sources were identified. Signs warning not to drink the water were posted by both work sinks. This combined with internal procedures and the supervision of students will ensure that the water is not used for drinking or cooking.
- 1 work sink located in room 5 – This water fixture is scheduled to be replaced.
- 1 wash/bucket sink in storage room 13 – Permanently marked as a non-potable water source.
Schoharie Career and Technical Education School Campus
One water source was identified. A sign is posted above the sink warning not to drink the water or use it for cooking.
- 1 sink in the criminal justice classroom. The outlet is being replaced with a lead free/NSF approved fixture.
Albany Career and Technical Education School Campus
Six water outlets were identified as having levels greater than the state’s action level. All of the water outlets in Albany remain in use with signs warning not to drink the water or use for cooking affixed above them. The signage along with internal procedures and the supervision of students meet the requirements of the state law.
- 1 sink in a restroom in culinary classroom B9.
- 3 work sinks in criminal justice classroom B5.
- 1 work sink in adult education classroom A9.
- 1 sink in a restroom in adult education classroom A6.