Schalmont Central School District recently received partial results from the first-round water testing performed in its school buildings and transportation facility this summer. The preliminary report indicates that the majority of the outlets at the middle and high school campus and bus garage meet federal and new state standards for lead levels. The district is awaiting results for water testing done at Jefferson Elementary School.
On Aug. 19, 77 water sources districtwide were tested, including kitchen faucets, classroom sinks and drinking fountains in each school building, as well as water outlets in the district’s bus garage. Of those, elevated lead levels were detected in two school faucets. One is a sink located in the concession stand at the high school and the second is a sink located between two classrooms in what was at one point a science lab in the middle school. Neither of these sinks has been used by students or adults for several months. Water to the affected faucets has been shut off until further testing can be completed in accordance with state regulations. If the results of those tests continue to show actionable levels of lead, the district will take further corrective action before placing the faucets back in service.
“We are pleased that these initial results showed no issues in the overwhelming majority of water outlets in our schools, including all water fountains used by students on a regular basis,” said Superintendent Dr. Carol Pallas. “We are committed to ensuring that that our students and staff have safe water to drink and that the water quality in our schools meet state and federal guidelines.”
Given increasing concerns about the quality of drinking water in the Capital Region and across the country, Schalmont began proactively testing lead levels in drinking water sources in its buildings this summer with analysis by Pace Analytical Services.
The district initiated this testing prior to legislation signed by Governor Cuomo on Sept. 6 that requires all New York state public schools to test all sources of potable water for lead contamination. The state Department of Health and state Education Department have established an action level threshold of 15 parts per billion. Water sources that test higher must be marked for corrective action.
Per the new legislation, the district had all its potable water
outlets (378 in total) tested on Sept. 17.
The district will continue to report results of the testings as they are received.
If you have questions about the testing process or results, call the Superintendent’s office at (518) 355-9200 ext. 4001.
The following resources provide additional information about water testing in schools: