Water and Lead Testing

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Water and Lead Testing Results

New York state became the first state in the nation to require all public schools and BOCES to test all sources of drinking water for lead on Sept. 6, 2016.

Under the new state law, in the fall of 2016, school districts were required to collect samples from water outlets used for drinking and cooking in any buildings that may be occupied by students and have the samples tested at a state certified laboratory.

Schools will need to conduct water testing again in 2020 and every five years thereafter, or sooner if required by the state Commissioner of Health.

In accordance with a new state law, water tests in the district’s elementary, middle and high school buildings were completed in the fall and winter of 2016.

East Hill Elementary/Nellis 2016 results

Complete Results for East Hill, Nellis

More than 140 water outlets were tested at East Hill and the Nellis Complex in 2016. Of those samples, one drinking fountain and 22 sinks were found to contain lead levels that exceeded the state’s action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb) or .015 mg/L. The affected fountain and sinks were immediately taken out of service, including:

Nellis: Two sinks in the boys downstairs bathroom, three sinks in the girls downstairs bathroom, two sinks in the girls locker room, one sink in the boys locker room, one sink in the pool coach’s bathroom, one sink in the boys coach’s office bathroom, one sink in the former Nellis kitchen (which was no longer used for food preparation) and one fountain in the girls locker room.

East Hill: One bathroom sink in room seven, one sink in the old north wing downstairs boys bathroom, one sink in the old north wing downstairs girls bathroom, one sink in the new north wing upstairs boys bathroom, three sinks in the old north wing upstairs boys bathroom, two sinks in the old north wing upstairs girls bathroom, a sink in the East Hill nurse’s office and one hand washing only sink in the school kitchen.

These outlets will remain out of service until a remediation plan is in place and further testing indicates that lead levels are below the action level. Several other working sinks and fountains remain available throughout East Hill and the Nellis Complex.

Middle/high school 2016 results

At the middle school, 42 sinks and fountains were tested. Of those samples, four bathroom sinks were found to contain lead levels that exceeded the state’s action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb) or .015 mg/L. The sinks from where these samples were drawn were immediately taken out of service.

At the high school, 120 faucets and fountains were tested, and 23 returned samples containing lead levels that exceeded the state’s action level. These water outlets were also immediately taken out of service.

Outlets taken out of service were:

Middle school: One sink in the seventh/ eighth-grade women’s faculty bathroom, one sink in the seventh/eighth girls’ bathroom and two sinks in the sixth-grade girls’ bathroom.

High school: One sink in the girls’ outside bathroom (located behind the building for use during athletics), three sinks in the kitchen (including two hand washing sinks and a sprayer used to prewash trays), the slushy machine valve in the kitchen, three sinks in science room 206, three sinks in science room 207, three sinks in science room 208, eight sinks in science room 209 and one sink in the history wing boys’ bathroom.

Lead-free buildings

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 lead-free. Under New York’s new law, school districts are not required to conduct water testing in buildings designated as lead-free. The district has no buildings designated as lead-free, as defined by the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act.