A letter from Superintendent Dr. Lori Caplan
Nov. 15, 2016
As you may be aware, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation in September that requires public schools in New York to test all water outlets currently or potentially used for drinking or cooking purposes for lead levels.
In accordance with the law, the district has conducted water testing at both Watervliet Elementary School and Watervliet Jr./Sr. High School with the assistance of a state-approved laboratory. Last month, the district notified parents in writing about water quality testing that was performed in August before the new regulations had been established by the state. At that time, test results showed elevated lead levels in some samplings. The identified faucets were deactivated until further testing following state protocols could be completed.
The district has received the results of the most recent testing for WJSHS, which show that of the 75 samples drawn, the majority of outlets tested below the actionable level, including all drinking fountains. Eight water sources – seven bathroom sinks and a sink in the lower level concession area – however, did test above the allowable 15 parts per billion, as per the new regulations.
Signs have been posted on the identified sinks indicating “hand washing only” as recommended by the NYSDOH, until remediation is completed. Once the fixtures have been replaced, additional testing will be performed at these locations.
We will continue to provide updates if any further testing or additional actions regarding water quality or remediation become necessary moving forward.
If you have questions or concerns about the test results, please contact the district office at (518) 629-3201.
Dr. Lori Caplan
Superintendent of Schools
For more information on New York’s new water testing law, view or download this fact sheet.
For more information about lead levels and drinking water, visit the EPA’s website.
Lead-free, as defined by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, is based on the lead content of plumbing materials. Federal laws enacted in 1986, and updated in 2011, limit the amount of lead that can be used in new plumbing and fixtures. A building can be deemed lead-free if it was built after Jan. 4, 2014, or a New York State licensed Professional Engineer or Architect certifies it to be lead-free. Under New York's new law, school districts are not required to conduct water testing in buildings designated as lead-free. Watervliet City School District has no buildings designated as lead-free, as defined by the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act.