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Water Testing

Young children, infants, and fetuses are particularly vulnerable to lead because the physical and behavioral effects of lead occur at lower exposure levels in children than in adults. A dose of lead that would have little effect on an adult can have a significant effect on a child. In children, low levels of exposure have been linked to damage of the central and peripheral nervous system, learning disabilities, shorter stature, impaired hearing, and impaired formation and function of blood cells.

It is important to recognize all the ways a child can be exposed to lead. Children are exposed to lead in paint, dust, soil, air, and food, as well as drinking water. If the level of lead in a child's blood is at or above the CDC action level of 5 micrograms per deciliter, it may be due to lead exposures from a combination of sources. EPA estimates that drinking water can make up 20 percent or more of a person’s total exposure to lead.

On September 6, 2016 New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law Chapter 296 of the Laws of 2016. This law (NYCRR Title 10, Subpart 67-4) requires school districts and BOCES to conduct testing of school potable water sources in occupied buildings and to monitor for lead contamination and remediate where necessary.

In addition to signing the legislation into law, the Department of Health (DOH) also issued emergency regulations for the implementation of the new law that take effect immediately, September 6, 2016.

The new law requires all school districts and BOCES to test potable water for lead contamination and to develop a remediation plan where necessary.


North Syracuse Central School District test results for the period of January 1, 2016 - June 30, 2016

Due to the concern raised across the Nation in early 2016 in regard to high levels of lead in drinking water, the North Syracuse Central School District undertook an extensive lead testing program on all classroom sinks and drinking fountains throughout the district. At the time, the district was using the EPA’s acceptable level for lead in drinking water of 20 parts per billion. The new standard implemented by New York State on September 6, 2016 is 15 parts per billion.

During the period of 1/1/16 through 6/30/16 a total of 963 samples were taken throughout the district. Twelve (12) fixtures (or 1.25% district-wide) were taken out of service (found to be above 15 ppb) as a result of testing.

Locations with fixtures above 15 ppb:

  • Lakeshore Road Elementary School
    • Room 147 - Bubbler
    • Room152 – Bubbler
    • Room 160 – Bubbler
    • Room 161 – Bubbler
    • Room 164 – Bubbler
    • Room 172 – Bubbler
    • Room 176 – Bubbler
  • Cicero-North Syracuse High School
    • Women’s Locker Room Drinking Fountain
    • Home Economics Room 238 Green Sink
    • Home Economics Room238 Red Sink
    • Home Economics Room 240 Yellow Sink
  • Gillette Road Middle School Athletic Complex Concession Stand
    • Sink – Left side

North Syracuse Central School District test results for the period of September 6 - September 30, 2016

Total Number of Samples taken: 969

Total number of fixtures currently out of service (above 15ppb): 11

Percentage of fixtures out of service (above 15ppb): 1.13


Lakeshore Road Elementary School Remediation Plan:

Classroom # Fixture Remediation Plan
105 Classroom sink Change aerator/retest
106 Classroom sink Change aerator/retest
107 Classroom sink Change aerator/retest
109 Classroom sink Change aerator/retest
113 Classroom sink Change aerator/retest
114 Bathroom sink Change faucet
129 Bathroom sink Change 2 couplings and aerator/retest
141 Classroom sink Change faucet/retest
142 Bathroom sink Change faucet/retest
143 Classroom sink Change faucet/retest
144 Classroom sink Change faucet/retest
145 Classroom sink Change faucet/retest
146 Classroom sink Change faucet/retest
147 Classroom sink Change faucet/retest
152 Classroom sink Change faucet/retest
152 Bathroom sink Change faucet/retest
153 Classroom sink Change faucet/retest
156 Classroom sink Change faucet/retest
157 Classroom sink Change faucet/retest
178 Classroom sink Change faucet/retest

Bear Road Elementary School Remediation Plan:

Classroom # Fixture Remediation Plan
168 Classroom sink Change faucet/retest
159A Classroom sink Change aerator/retest
156 Classroom sink Change faucet/retest
146 Classroom sink Change aerator/retest
142 Classroom sink Change aerator/retest
142 Classroom sink Change aerator/retest

Smith Road Elementary School Remediation Plan:

Classroom # Fixture Remediation Plan
162 Classroom sink #1 Change faucet/retest
162 Classroom sink #2 Change faucet/retest
162 Classroom sink #4 Change faucet/retest
Kitchen Sink #4 Change faucet/retest

Roxboro Road Middle School Remediation Plan:

Classroom # Fixture Remediation Plan
117 Classroom sink #2 Change faucet/retest
139 Classroom sink #2 Change faucet/retest
146 Classroom sink #3 Change faucet/retest
099A (outside bathroom) Sink Change faucet/retest

Cicero-North Syracuse High School Remediation Plan:

Classroom # Fixture Remediation Plan
238 2 Classroom sinks (red and green) Change aerators/will replace faucets and retest
240 RT Change faucet/retest
BBR near cafe Sink 3 Change faucet/retest
BBR near cafe Sink 4 Change faucet/retest
153 Sink 1 Post signage/Not for drinking
153 Sink 3 Post signage/Not for drinking
173A Sink Post signage/Not for drinking
2nd floor Girls HS II Sink 3 Post signage/Not for drinking
242 Sink 3 Post signage/Not for drinking
264 Front Sink Post signage/Not for drinking
263 Sink 1 Left Post signage/Not for drinking
263 Sink 1 Right Post signage/Not for drinking
263 Sink 2 Left Post signage/Not for drinking
263 Sink 2 Right Post signage/Not for drinking
263 Sink 3 Left Post signage/Not for drinking
263 Sink 3 Right Post signage/Not for drinking
263 Sink 4 Left Post signage/Not for drinking
263 Sink 4 Right Post signage/Not for drinking
263 Sink 5 Left Post signage/Not for drinking
263 Sink 5 Right Post signage/Not for drinking
263 Center Sink Left Post signage/Not for drinking
263 Center Sink Right Post signage/Not for drinking
262 Sink 1 Left Post signage/Not for drinking
262 Sink 2 Left Post signage/Not for drinking
262 Sink 2 Right Post signage/Not for drinking
262 Sink 3 Post signage/Not for drinking
262 Sink 4 Left Post signage/Not for drinking
262 Sink 4 Right Post signage/Not for drinking
262 Sink 5 Left Post signage/Not for drinking
262 Sink 5 Right Post signage/Not for drinking
262 Sink 6 Left Post signage/Not for drinking
262 Sink 6 Right Post signage/Not for drinking
262 Center Sink Left Post signage/Not for drinking
262 Center Sink Right Post signage/Not for drinking
261 Sink 1 Left Post signage/Not for drinking
261 Sink 1 Right Post signage/Not for drinking
261 Sink 3 Left Post signage/Not for drinking
261 Sink 3 Right Post signage/Not for drinking
261 Sink 4 Post signage/Not for drinking
261 Sink 5 Left Post signage/Not for drinking
261 Sink 5 Right Post signage/Not for drinking
261 Sink 6 Left Post signage/Not for drinking
261 Sink 6 Right Post signage/Not for drinking
261 Center Sink Left Post signage/Not for drinking
277 Sink 1 Post signage/Not for drinking
277 Sink 2 Post signage/Not for drinking
277 Sink 3 Post signage/Not for drinking
277 Sink 4 Post signage/Not for drinking
277 Front Sink Post signage/Not for drinking
276 Sink 1 Post signage/Not for drinking
276 Sink 3 Post signage/Not for drinking
276 Mid-left Sink Post signage/Not for drinking
275 Sink 1 Post signage/Not for drinking
275 Sink 2 Post signage/Not for drinking
275 Sink 3 Post signage/Not for drinking
273 Sink 1 Post signage/Not for drinking
273 Sink 2 Post signage/Not for drinking
272 Sink 1 Post signage/Not for drinking
272 Sink 2 Post signage/Not for drinking
271 Sink 1 Post signage/Not for drinking
271 Sink 2 Post signage/Not for drinking
270 Sink 1 Post signage/Not for drinking
269 Sink 2 Left Post signage/Not for drinking
269 Sink 2 Right Post signage/Not for drinking
269 Sink 3 Post signage/Not for drinking
269 Sink 4 Left Post signage/Not for drinking
269 Sink 4 Right Post signage/Not for drinking
269 Sink 5 Left Post signage/Not for drinking
269 Sink 5 Right Post signage/Not for drinking
269 Sink 6 Left Post signage/Not for drinking
269 Sink 6 Right Post signage/Not for drinking
269 Center Sink Left Post signage/Not for drinking
269 Center Sink Right Post signage/Not for drinking

Gillette Road Middle School Remediation Plan:

Classroom # Fixture Remediation Plan
017 Sink Replace faucet and retest
Restroom 1st Sink Replace faucet and retest

North Syracuse Junior High School Remediation Plan:

Classroom # Fixture Remediation Plan
168 Sink Fixture Turned Off
167 Sink 1 Sign Posted*
129 Sink 2 Sign Posted*
3rd Floor Girls Bathroom Near 312 Sink 1 Fixture Turned Off
3rd Floor Girls Bathroom Near 312 Sink 2 Fixture Turned Off
311 Sink 1 Sign Posted*
311 Sink 2 Sign Posted*
311 Sink 3 Sign Posted*
311 Sink 4 Sign Posted*
313 Sink 5 Sign Posted*
317 Sink 3 Sign Posted*
317 Sink 5 Sign Posted*
317 Sink 6 Sign Posted*
321 Front Sink Fixture Turned Off
2nd Floor South Handicap Bathroom Sink 2 Sign Posted*
341 Sink 2 Fixture Turned Off
339 Sink 1 Sign Posted*
339 Sink 2 Sign Posted*
339 Sink 3 Fixture Turned Off
331 Sink 2 Sign Posted*
331 Sink 4 Sign Posted*
331 Sink 6 Sign Posted*
331 Sink 7 Sign Posted*
327 Sink 1 Sign Posted*
327 Sink 2 Sign Posted*

*Hand washing only. Not for drinking use.

Click the links below for additional information and correspondence regarding water testing in the North Syracuse Central School District.


Further explanation and clarification regarding Chapter 296 of the Laws of 2016

Key definitions:

  • “Action Level” means 15 micrograms per liter (or 0.015mg/l) or 15 parts per billion. A level above the action level requires a response (e.g., remediation).
  • “Outlet” means a potable water fixture currently or potentially used for drinking or cooking purposes, but not limited to bubbler, drinking fountain or faucets. Further clarification by the NYS Department of Health added art, science, and restroom sinks.

Testing Protocol:

Testing water in schools is important because children spend a lot of time in these facilities, and are very likely to consume water while there. Even though water delivered from the community’s public water supply must meet federal and state standards for lead, the building plumbing may contribute to elevated lead levels in the drinking water. Testing the water at each outlet is the only sure way to find out if the water contains too much lead.

You cannot see, taste, or smell lead in water; testing is the only sure way to tell if there are elevated levels of lead in your drinking water.

  • Choose a certified laboratory to test your samples.
  • The initial sample is representative of the water that may be consumed at the beginning of the day or after infrequent use. This is water that has been in contact with the faucet or drinking water fountain and the section of plumbing closest to the outlet.
  • Collect cold water samples in the morning before the facility opens for the day. Make sure that no water has been used yet— don’t run faucets or flush toilets before you sample. Collect the water immediately after turning it on without allowing any water to run into the drain. The outlets you are testing should not have been used for 8 to 18 hours prior to collection of the samples. This is called a first draw sample.
  • Take follow-up samples from outlets where test results show lead levels greater than 15 ppb (parts per billion).
  • Follow-up Samples - This sample is representative of the water that is in the plumbing upstream from the faucet or drinking water fountain. Take this sample before the facility opens and before any water is used. Let the water from the faucet or drinking water fountain run for 30 seconds before collecting the sample. This is called a flush sample.

Results:

  • When the laboratory returns our test results, the concentrations of lead in our drinking water samples will be reported in metric form such as milligrams per liter (mg/L) or micrograms per liter (μ g/L), or they will be reported as a concentration such as parts per million (ppm) or parts per billion (ppb), respectively. Milligrams per liter (mg/L) is essentially the same as parts per million (ppm). Micrograms per liter (μ g/L) are essentially the same as parts per billion (ppb).

                Examples:  1mg/L = 1000μ g/L = 1 ppm = 1000 ppb

.015 mg/L = 15μg/L = .015 ppm = 15 ppb

Required Actions if Levels of Lead are Detected at or Above 15 parts per billion:

  • Prohibit use of the outlet until a remediation plan is implemented and test results indicate that lead levels are at or below the action level.
  • Provide facility occupants with an adequate supply of potable water for drinking and cooking until remediation is performed.
  • Report the results to the local Department of Health.
  • Notify all staff and all persons in a parental relation to students of the test results in writing as soon as practicable, but no more than ten days after receiving the laboratory report.

Responding to High Lead Levels:

  • Provide an alternative and lead-free source of drinking water.
  • Remove sources of lead in the plumbing system.
    • Replace solder joints with lead-free joints. Replace the outlet or fixture/ faucet with lead-free materials. Replace piping with lead-free materials.

Public Notification:

  • The school will make available the results of all lead testing performed and remediation plans implemented on it’s website as soon as practicable, but no later than 6 weeks after the school receives the laboratory results.
  • For schools that received lead testing results and implemented lead remediation plans prior to the effective date of these regulations, the schools shall make available on the school’s website as soon as practicable, but no more than 6 weeks after the effective date of this legislation.

Future Testing:

  • Schools will be required to collect samples for lead again in 2020, or earlier as determined by the Commissioner. Schools will continue to collect first-draw samples at least every five years thereafter, or at an earlier time as determined by the Commissioner.

Ongoing Testing:

As part of the new law enacted on September 6, 2016, all fixtures previously tested after January 1, 2015 shall satisfy the initial first draw sampling requirement.

Furthermore, any fixture not sampled within this time frame, must complete sampling in the following time frames:

  • All schools serving Grades Pre-K through 5 must have samples collected by September 30, 2016.
  • All schools serving Grades 6 through 12 must have samples collected by October 31,2016.
  • The District has completed all Grades Pre-K through 5 testing on any untested fixtures, and is awaiting laboratory test results.
  • Testing for any untested fixtures will be completed by October 31, 2016.

Electronic or hard copies of individual or district wide laboratory results can be obtained by contacting in writing:

Superintendent of Schools
North Syracuse Central School District

5355 West Taft Road
North Syracuse NY 13212