District conducts required testing of water for lead levels
On Sept. 6, 2016, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new law
that requires public schools in New York to test for lead levels all
water sources currently or potentially used for drinking or cooking
purposes. The new law makes New York the first state in the nation to
require all of its public schools to conduct lead testing on all sources
of potable water.
Schools are required to submit to a lab samples of
water drawn from every source (faucet, fountain, spigot, etc.) in their
buildings that could be used for drinking and cooking. The
state established an action level of 15 micrograms
of lead per liter, typically referred to as parts per billion (ppb).
If the lead level from a water source
exceeds the action level, schools must take steps to prevent the use of
the source for drinking or cooking purposes until it is remediated
and follow-up testing confirms it is no longer above the action level.
Water testing in Schoharie Central School
Schoharie Central School District receives its water
from the Village of Schoharie, a public water supply. A partial sampling
of water sources tested at SCS buildings this past spring found those
sources to be under the action levels for lead. However, last spring the
district did not draw
from every single source of water used for drinking or cooking in its
buildings as required by the new law.
The required testing has been completed, as well as
testing of other sources: Schoharie Central School District tested not
only water sources used for drinking and cooking, but samples from all
of the water sources in its buildings.
In September, samples of water from those nearly 300
sources were sent to an
independent, state-approved lab in accordance with the new state law.
Per regulations, all samples were "first draw," which means there had
been no water flow for at least eight hours.
The district received partial lab results during the
first part of October. Of 79 results returned to the district, two
sources showed lead levels above the state-required action level. Those
samples were taken from rarely used drinking fountain fixtures attached
to sinks in two classrooms.
Water samples drawn from the faucets that share the
same water line as the fountain fixtures were found to be below action
levels for lead, indicating that the problem was likely due to the
fountain fixture hardware and not the water supply. The fountain
fixtures were immediately taken out of service, have been replaced and
were retested. While the district awaits the retest results, the
fixtures remain out of service and bottled water continues to be
supplied in those classrooms.
As of October 26, the district
had received the balance of the lab results of its water source tests.
The results show that all water samples from Schoharie Jr./Sr. High
School sources that are used for drinking or cooking have tested below
the state-required action level (acceptable limit) of 15 ppb.
Water samples drawn from four outside spigots and a
sink in the instructional technology office – sources that are not used
for drinking or cooking - were found to be above the state-required
action level of 15 ppb. While those sources are not used for drinking or
cooking, and the district was not required to test them, they were
tested along with all sources in the buildings. Those sources have been
taken out of service, and the district will address ways to remediate
For questions or concerns, please contact
Superintendent David Blanchard at
email@example.com or (518) 295-6679.
Sheet: New state law means public schools will test for lead (PDF)
Basic information about lead in drinking water (U.S. Environmental
School districts are required to report the full
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 on their website. Schoharie's full lab reports may be
downloaded below (in PDF format).
Reports received as of 10/17/16:
Results report 10364802
Results report 10364803
Results report 10364808
Reports received as of 10/26/16:
Results report 10364793
Results report 10364799
Results report 10364805
Results report 10364806
[10/17/16; updated 10/26/16]