A letter from Superintendent D. Joseph Corr:
The district received results on November 15 and 16 from the state-mandated water testing performed at Southgate Elementary School. 98 samples were tested, and three exceeded the state’s allowable threshold of 15 parts per billion.
The water quality testing was performed in accordance with legislation signed by Governor Cuomo on September 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 (PPB). Water sources that test higher must be immediately taken out of service and corrective action must be taken.
The three samples that tested above the allowable 15 parts per billion as per the new regulations include the following:
- Room 15 wash sink, 51 ppb
- Room 28 bubbler, 120 ppb
- Receiving room bathroom, 360 ppb
The district immediately shut off water to the affected sources and have marked each “Out of service, do not use” until further testing can be conducted and next steps can be determined. If the results continue to show actionable levels of lead, the district will work to replace or remediate the affected water pipes and fixtures. As a follow-up, additional water tests will be conducted to determine if the replacement/remediation was successful before placing the faucets back in service.
It is important to note that the North Colonie Central School District has followed its own water testing protocols initiated a decade ago, long before the state enacted legislation, to ensure the quality of drinking water in our schools. Since then, district staff has conducted random sampling of drinking water sources at all sites in the district and those samples have been tested at Bender Labs, a state-certified testing laboratory in Albany. During the last 10 years, the results have consistently shown that drinking water sources at each of our schools have tested below the actionable level set by the state.
As we have said before, please be assured that we will continue to take the necessary steps to ensure the quality of drinking water throughout our district meets the state regulations. We will keep you informed as we continue to receive the results of the ongoing water testing at our schools.
Please call me at (518) 785-8591, if you have any questions.