Schalmont Central School District has received the remaining 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 Jefferson Elementary School and all the outlets at mechanics garage and Woestina building meet federal and new state standards for lead levels.
On Aug. 19, 2016, 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 mechanics garage.
Of those, elevated lead levels were detected in two classroom sinks with attached drinking fountains at Jefferson. The drinking fountain portion has been shut off and capped. Signs have been placed above these sinks indicating they are to be used for washing only.
The Center for Disease Control states that human skin does not absorb lead in water, and that it is safe to wash in water, even if it contains lead over EPA’s action level. Therefore it is safe for the sinks, both of which are designated for washing only, to continue to be used. Both sinks will be retested according to the guidelines of the state Department of Health.
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 (an additional 307) tested on Sept. 17. Results of that testing for the high school and middle school have been returned [view results]. The district is still waiting for the results for Jefferson and Woestina from that round of testing and will continue to report results of the testing 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: