North Shore Schools is committed to protecting student, teacher, and staff health. In response to the recent concerns about lead in drinking water, we tested our schools’ drinking water for lead.
Why Test School Drinking Water for Lead? High levels of lead in drinking water can cause health problems. Lead is most dangerous for pregnant women, infants, and children under 6 years old. Exposure to high levels of lead during pregnancy contributes to low birth weight and developmental delays in infants. In young children, lead exposure can lower IQ levels, affect hearing, reduce attention span, and hurt school performance. At very high levels, lead can even cause brain damage.
To protect public health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests that schools and day care facilities test their drinking water for lead. If lead is found at any water outlet at levels above *20 parts per billion (ppb), EPA recommends taking action to reduce the lead. *Note: We chose to set the lead level to be consistent with the New York City Schools level of 15 parts per billion. This is 5 lower than the recommended EPA level.
Is Our School’s Drinking Water Safe? Yes, our schools’ water is safe. From April 1st 2016 through April 24th 2016 we tested our drinking water for lead. We sampled all seven district buildings in accordance with the EPA protocol. The samples were collected and analyzed by an outside consultant, New York Environmental.
Of the 533 water samples we tested, only (6) showed lead levels above the 15 ppb mark. In other words, 98.87% of the water outlets tested did not have any lead problems.
Note: If you read below (3) of the high lead samples were taken from slop sinks that are not accessible to children. Because they are not accessible to children or considered a path for ingestion, we could state that 99.44% of the water outlets tested (That children have access to) did not have any lead problems.
The first outlet with high lead levels (This accounted for two of the samples) was a drinking water fountain at Glen Head School (Inside Rm. 107). The water fountain water supply was shut off immediately. Our maintenance staff was issued a work order to remove the fountain in its entirety and cap off all pipes. The occupants of this space can use the hallway water fountain outside of the classroom.
The second outlet with high levels (This accounted for one of the samples) was a hand wash sink at Glen Head School (Girls Bathroom opposite rm. 12). A hand wash sink is not considered a path for ingestion by the EPA, but in an abundance of caution we turned the water supply to this sink off. Our staff will investigate the source of the high reading and follow the EPA protocol for addressing the high levels of lead. We will follow up with re-testing this sink.
The third outlets with high levels (this accounted for three of the samples) were custodial slop sinks at Sea Cliff School. These slop sinks are used exclusively by the custodial staff and are locked up when not in use. These sinks are not a possible route for ingestion of water by anyone (Nor would you want to drink from them). We will alert our staff and follow the EPA protocol for addressing the high levels of lead. We will follow up with re-testing these sinks
How Can I Learn More? You can see a copy of all of our water testing results at the school district’s central office, which is open Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm). For more information about water quality in our schools, please contact John Hall at 516-277-7835. For information about water quality and sampling for lead at home, contact your local water supplier or state drinking water agency.
Director of Facilities
North Shore Schools 112 Franklin Avenue Sea Cliff, NY 11579 District Number 516-277-7800
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