Letter: Water testing results for BPIS

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Water Testing in New York Schools

Dear members of the Broadalbin-Perth community,

As you may be aware, on Sept. 6, 2016, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new law that requires public schools in New York state to test for lead in all water outlets currently or potentially used for drinking or cooking.

This letter is to inform you about the results of water testing completed at Broadalbin-Perth Intermediate School. Results from water testing completed at The Learning Community and in the middle school kitchen are available on the district website, www.bpcsd.org. Water samples have been drawn at B-P Middle School and B-P High School and results of these tests will be provided to parents, faculty and staff and posted on the district website once they are available.

Adirondack Sewer and Water Management collected “first draw” samples ­– meaning the water outlet had not been used for a minimum of eight hours – from 50 faucets and drinking fountains at the intermediate school. Of those samples, 14 were found to contain lead levels that exceed the state’s action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb). The fountains and sinks that these samples were drawn from were immediately taken out of service.

The water outlets with the highest readings are from sources that are rarely, if ever, used by students or staff, so the water was motionless in the pipes leading to those water outlets for more than 18 hours before the first samples were collected, allowing the water to absorb trace minerals from the surrounding pipes.

On Oct. 25, the district conducted follow-up testing at each of the water outlets that exceeded the state’s action level during initial testing. In addition to the follow-up “first draw” samples, the district also collected second samples immediately following the “first draw” samples, as well as samples after running the water for 30 seconds. The following chart describes the results of all four tests conducted at 13 of the 14 outlets in question; the district is still awaiting results from retesting conducted at the 14th outlet:

Date Tested: Sept. 19, 2016 Oct. 25, 2016 Oct. 25, 2016 Oct. 25, 2016
Sample Type: First Draw First Draw Second Sample 30-Sec. Flush
Sample Location All results are parts per billion (ppb)
Tech Room Slop Sink 22.5 4 not detectable not detectable
Girls Locker Room Left Sink 23 12 6 2
Girls Locker Room Right Sink 33.6 18 3 4
Band Room Sink 41.5 2 2 2
Room 015 Sink 21.1 35 110 not detectable
Room 021 Faucet 22.3 12 not detectable not detectable
Room 023 Faucet 32 22 4 not detectable
Room 022 Left Sink 34.7 10 6 5
Room 026 Sink 30.6 30 7 not detectable
Room 027 Faucet 39.7 33 3 not detectable
Room 028 Sink 29.8 13 3 not detectable
Boys Bathroom Left Sink 34.5 14 2 not detectable
Boys Bathroom Middle Sink 26.3 13 8 0.9

Because of the initial testing results, we are keeping all 14 of these water outlets out of service until the district’s action plan is approved by the Department of Health.

It is important to note that Broadalbin-Perth has followed its own water-testing protocols for many years — long before the state initiated this recent legislation. Broadalbin-Perth’s operations and maintenance staff annually conduct random samplings of drinking water sources at both campuses. Over the years, the results have shown that levels have consistently tested below the actionable level previously set by the state health department.

We take these findings very seriously and are continuing to work with our architects and engineers to ensure that we can continue to provide safe, healthy drinking water for our students and staff.

Visit our Water Testing webpage for more information about the risks associated with lead, as well as complete test results. If you have any questions or concerns about these test results or the steps the district is taking to address this issue, please contact my office at 954-2500, option 5.

Sincerely,

Stephen Tomlinson
Superintendent of Schools