Letters: Water testing results for BPMS and BPHS

Download PDF of the BPMS letter

Download PDF of the BPHS letter

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 Middle School and Broadalbin-Perth High School. Results from water testing completed at The Learning Community, B-P Intermediate School, B-P High School and in the middle school kitchen are available on the district website, www.bpcsd.org.

Adirondack Sewer and Water Management collected “first draw” samples ­– meaning the water outlet had not been used for a minimum of eight hours – from 51 faucets and drinking fountains at the middle school and 38 at the high school. Of those samples, 15 at the middle school and three at the high school 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.

In general, 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 Nov. 22, 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 the 13 of the 15 outlets in question at BPMS; the district is still awaiting results from retesting conducted at the other outlets:

Date Tested: Oct. 20, 2016 Nov. 22, 2016 Nov. 22, 2016 Nov. 22, 2016
Sample Type: First Draw First Draw Second Sample 30-Sec. Flush
Sample Location All results are parts per billion (ppb)
Second Floor Boys Bathroom Left Sink 42.2 44 2 3
Room 213, 2nd Sink 198 38 2 5
Room 213, 1st Sink 20.2 790 8 2
Room 216 Sink 22.7 8 1 not detectable
Room 218-1 36.8 10 4 3
Room 218-3 55.3 17 3 not detectable
Room 219 Lab 28.6 3 not detectable 1
Room 219-3 27.3 2 not detectable not detectable
Room 220-1 15.6 40 12 5
Room 220-2 73.6 22 3 3
Room 220-3 60.0 38 22 1
Room 220-4 19.4 114 33 not detectable
Room 220 Lab 16.1 179 27 9

The following chart describes the results of all four tests conducted at the three outlets in question at BPHS:

Date Tested: Oct. 20, 2016 Nov. 22, 2016 Nov. 22, 2016 Nov. 22, 2016
Sample Type: First Draw First Draw Second Sample 30-Sec. Flush
Sample Location All results are parts per billion (ppb)
Room 2206 19.8 18 6 1
HS Kitchen Dishwasher 26.7 9 2 not detectable
HS Kitchen Serving Area – Small Sink 17.8 6 2 not detectable

Because of the initial testing results, we are keeping all 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