As you may know, the New York State Legislature passed a bill which requires all school districts and BOCES to test all potable water outlets for lead contamination, and to take responsive actions. Governor Cuomo signed the proposed legislation, and the Department of Health adopted emergency regulations, titled Lead Testing in School Drinking Water, on September 6, 2016.
Under this regulation, samples must be collected at all outlets within the school. An outlet is a potable water fixture currently or potentially used for drinking or cooking purposes, including but not limited to bubblers, drinking fountains, and faucets.
The complete initial first-draw sampling for schools serving children in prekindergarten through grade five must be completed by September 30, 2016. This has been completed in Lockport. The first-draw for schools serving children in grades six through twelve must be completed by October 31, 2016.
If lead levels are detected above 15 parts per billion (ppb) at any potable water outlet, the school must discontinue the use of that outlet until a lead remediation plan is implemented to mitigate the lead level, and test results indicate that the lead levels are at or below the action level.
In addition to testing, there are requirements for reporting and remediating lead in drinking water in schools. As results of the testing are reported to the District, employees, parents, students, and the larger community will be notified.
The Lockport City School District is committed to protecting student, teacher,and staff health.To protect our community, Lockport City School District recently tested our schools' drinking water for lead, in accordance with NYCRR Title 10, Subpart 67-4.
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. NYS Department of Health (DOH), under direction from Governor Cuomo, is recommending taking action on levels above 15 parts per billion (ppb).
The Lockport City School District tested our drinking water for lead. Please click the links above to review water testing results. Bottled water will be available where outlets are shut off. Several operating drinking water fountains are available in other parts of the school building. However if you prefer to send in bottled water with your child to drink while in school you may do so.
Action Steps Being Taken In Lockport City School District
• All identified water sources have been clearly labeled not to drink.
• The district is currently working to identify the specific source of the impurity.
• Additional testing will occur.
• Remedial action will be taken once the source is identified.
• Follow-up testing will be conducted as required by regulation.
How Can I Learn More?
You can see a copy of all our water testing results at the Lockport Board of Education building, which is open Monday to Friday from 8:00a.m. to 4:30p.m., and on our website at www.lockportschools.org/Facilities. For more information about water quality in our schools, please contact Tim Parker, Director of Facilities III, at 716-478-4601. For information about water quality and sampling for lead at home, contact your local water supplier or state drinking water agency.