Elevated level of lead found in Niskayuna school faucet

by Trishna Begam, originally posted on May 13, 2016


NISKAYUNA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Officials say a water sample that showed lead contamination in a single school kitchen faucet has prompted the Niskayuna CSD to replace the fixture and conduct testing of water throughout the district.

The district received the results of two water samples taken at Glencliff Elementary School on Tuesday, May 10. Results for water that came from a drinking fountain at the school were well within normal ranges. However, the tests showed an elevated level of lead for the faucet in the school’s kitchen on the first draw, which means without letting the water run at all prior to taking the sample.

A subsequent sample on that same faucet contained levels that were well within acceptable limits as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency. The end of this press release contains more details about the Glencliff results and general information about lead in water.

The district says they took immediate action upon receiving the test results. All sources of water for cooking and drinking at Glencliff have been taken offline, and will remain that way until the district confirms that levels are within the EPA limit.

Following the replacement of the faucet, all water sources in the building will be tested by the end of this week, with results expected early next week. Until that time, bottled water will be available to all students for drinking and will be used for cooking. Hand washing is safe.

The district is also scheduling water testing at every school in the district to take place in the near future. This will be random sampling, with follow-up testing done in the event it’s needed. The heightened awareness on the issue of water quality in our state and across the country prompted some inquiries in our community, and the district initiated the testing at Glencliff.

The district sent a letter home with Glencliff students the other day: http://www.niskayunaschools.org/PDFs/ParentLetterWater-May112016.pdf

The letter notes that this is not a public water supply issue, as all public water supplies are subject to regular water quality testing. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, lead enters drinking water primarily as a result eroding materials containing lead in the water distribution system, including faucets, fittings and pipes. This is why the district’s immediate steps include replacing the kitchen faucet at Glencliff.

“There is nothing we take more seriously than the well-being of our students,” Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr., said. “We are taking the necessary steps to address this situation and confirm the quality of the water throughout the district. We will keep the community informed on this issue.”

New York lawmakers are considering a bill that would change water testing requirements. The bill will go through a lengthy committee process.

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