In September 2016, a state law went into effect
that requires all public school districts in New York to test water for
lead. The law requires school districts to sample all water outlets
currently or potentially used for drinking or cooking purposes in
buildings that may be occupied by students and to submit those samples
to a state-approved lab for analysis. Regulations call for testing to
take place again in 2020 and every five years thereafter, unless the
state Commissioner of Health requires testing sooner.
The state established an action level of 15 micrograms of lead per liter, typically referred to as “parts per billion (ppb).” If a sample from a water outlet exceeds this level, schools must take steps to prevent the use of the outlet for drinking or cooking purposes until it is remediated and follow-up testing confirms it is no longer above the action level.
School districts are required to report the results of all water testing to the state Department of Health, the state Education Department and the local health department, and to post the results—along with remediation plans, if required—on the official district website.
Results from water tests conducted in May for Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk CSD show no tested sites above the state's action level of 15 parts per billion. However, in September and October, the district conducted further testing to comply with the new state law. This included testing bathroom and classroom sinks. Results will be posted for each school as they are received.
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
Under New York’s new law, school districts are not required to conduct water testing in buildings designated as lead-free. Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk CSD has no buildings designated as lead-free, as defined by the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act.