COLONIE – So far, 16 sources of water, including three drinking fountains, have lead in excess of the allowable threshold of 15 parts per billion in the North Colonie School District.
Lead testing is taking place across the state as per a state mandate signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month. Districts are shutting off the sinks and drinking fountains until remediation plan is formulated to rid the water of lead. The state deems any lead levels above 15 ppb unacceptable.
Bethlehem, South Colonie, Vorheesville and Shenendehowa have all reports elevated levels of lead in some sources of water in schools in their districts.
North Colonie tested 92 water samples from the Forts Ferry Elementary School and found 10 tested above 15 ppb:
-Kitchen prep/sanitizing sink: 18 PPB
-Bottle filler outside main office: 16 PPB
-Room 24 porcelain water fountain: 22 PPB
-Room 24 Sink: 17 PPB
-Room 24/22 right sink: 22 PPB
-Room 28 porcelain water fountain: 23 PPB
-Room 30 porcelain water fountain: 24 PPB
-Room 30 sink: 18 PPB
-Room 31 bubbler: 16 PPB
-Room 33 sink: 24 PPB
Of the 91 samples drawn at Boght Hills, one tested above the allowable 15 ppb:
-Room 1 sink: 16 ppb
At Latham Ridge Elementary School, 97 samples were drawn and four tested above 15 ppb:
-Cafeteria hand-washing sink: 30 ppb
-Nurse’s office bathroom sink: 16 ppb
-Library sink: 19 ppb
-Room 7 hand-washing sink: 17 ppb
Sixty-Seven samples were drawn from the Loudonville Elementary School and one tested above 15 ppb:
-Second floor hallway alcove wash sink: 39 ppb.
“The district immediately shut off water to the affected sources until a second round of testing can be conducted and next steps can be determined,” according to a letter to parents from Superintendent Joseph Corr. “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.”
Testing is continuing at districts across the state including North Colonie.
Lead can cause a number of health issues including developmental delays, learning difficulties, irritability and vomiting. The Environmental Protection Agency, however, says lead in drinking water is rarely the sole cause of lead poisoning. For more information about lead levels in drinking water, visit the EPA website.