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Cooke water outlets test positive for elevated levels of lead

Oct. 13, 2016

In September 2016, a New York state law went into effect that requires all public school districts 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.

The state established an action level of 15 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.

This week, the district received the water testing results from George L. Cooke Elementary School.

The results determined that two classroom sink outlets and nine bathroom sink outlets tested above the state-required 15 ppb action level. Although the fixtures are still considered usable for hand-washing, out of an abundance of caution, the district’s facilities team immediately took all affected fixtures out of service before students arrived at school on Thursday, Oct. 13.

All students have access to a filtered water dispenser in the school, and the school is providing anti-bacterial hand sanitizer for each classroom that has a non-working sink.

Additional testing will be conducted in an effort to pinpoint the specific source of the lead in each of the effected outlets, and the district’s facilities team will replace all plumbing components that may be contributing to the fixtures’ elevated lead levels.
We are committed to the safety of our students and take these findings very seriously. We are working with the safety and risk management office at Sullivan County BOCES to ensure that we can continue to provide safe, healthy drinking water for our students and staff. We will continue to update families about the status of our remediation efforts as information becomes available.
Please note that in accordance with state requirements each school building in Monticello Central School District has been tested for elevated lead. We will share the information regarding those tests as the results become available.