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Water Testing

Water Testing Requirements

Cooperstown Central School District is required to test water every five years. The next water testing will be in 2020, to make sure all of our water outlets are in compliance with maximum-lead level requirements.

Retesting Results (Updated 1/10/17)

A second round of water testing was recently completed at Cooperstown Central School District.

An initial round of testing showed that 42 of 254 outlets were found to exceed the new state standard for lead.

The state established an action level of 15 micrograms of lead per liter, typically referred to as ‘parts per billion (ppb).’ To put this number into perspective, the NYS Department of Health uses the 15 ppb action level to promote remediation of a water outlet rather than to identify a health-based or exposure level. The new state process for lead testing in public schools is also stricter than the municipal standard.

Remediation began on affected outlets immediately and about half of the outlets were retested. The remaining outlets were mostly outdoor spigots not accessible by students and were taken out of service.

Ten of the 18 outlets retested showed lead levels higher than the state standard.

No further action is required on those outlets that retested below the state action level. For those outlets that retested above the state action level, the district will conduct further remediation, which will include replacement of fixtures and devices.

In the case of an elementary school water fountain, a new water fountain will be ordered and installed.

Once this second stage of remediation is complete, all of the affected outlets will be retested to ensure they fall under the state action level.

To view complete retesting results see Water Retest Report.

Initial Testing (Updated 12/2/16)

In September 2016, a 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 micrograms of lead per liter, typically referred to as ‘parts per billion (ppb).’ To put this number into perspective, the NYS Department of Health uses the 15 ppb action level to promote remediation of a water outlet rather than to identify a health-based or exposure level. The new state process for lead testing in public schools is also stricter than the municipal standard.

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.

Cooperstown Central School District notified all staff and parents/guardians of the new water testing requirement and sampled all outlets in both school buildings in October.

Cooperstown Central School District’s results were received by the district on Dec. 1 and steps toward remediation were immediately taken. The district sampled 254 outlets at the Elementary School and the Jr./Sr. High School and 42 were found to exceed the new state standard of 15 ppb.

Forty-eight (48) drinking fountains were tested at both schools. Only one (1) tested higher than the state standard. That outlet was located in the elementary school cafeteria and had a level of 17 ppb. It was immediately taken out of service. In the elementary cafeteria, drinking water and cups are being provided to the students. Hand washing sinks in the elementary school classrooms that tested above the state limit were also shut off. The other sites that exceeded state standards are not accessible to students. All outlets that tested higher than the state mandated level will be remediated and re-tested prior to being put back into service and will be regularly tested per state regulations.

The majority of the 42 outlets that exceeded the new state standards were either handwashing sinks and showers; or utility sinks and outside spigots that are not accessible by students.

Cooperstown Central School District is working on a complete remediation plan, which will be posted on this webpage. Any additional information regarding water testing will also be posted on this page.

In some cases, outlets that were found to exceed the new state standard will be retested to verify the exact source of the lead in order to ensure effective remediation.

According to the state Department of Health, lead is a common metal found in the environment, but it is also a toxic material that can be harmful if ingested or inhaled. Although the primary source of lead exposure for most children is lead-based paint, exposure can also come from drinking water as a result of the lead content of plumbing materials and source water.

If you have any questions about lead exposure or testing for lead exposure, please contact your family physician or the Cooperstown: Basset School Based Health Center at 607.547.5069 (Elementary) or 607.547.1105 (High School).