Water Testing in the Westhampton Beach School District
What does the law/regulation require?
- In September 2016, New York State became the first state in the United States to require testing of all water outlets in public school buildings for lead contamination.
What is the “action level” for lead in school drinking water?
- “First draw” samples must be collected from all water outlets in public schools and analyzed at a state-approved laboratory. A “first draw” sample is a water sample that is collected from a cold water outlet after the water has been motionless in the pipes for a minimum of eight hours and a maximum of eighteen hours. The required sample is 250 milliliters.
- The action level in New York State is 15 micrograms per liter (mcg/L), which is equal to 15 parts per billion (ppb).
Who did the water testing for the Westhampton Beach School District?
- If a fixture exceeds 15ppb, the District must take immediate steps to ensure that the outlet is not used for drinking and must implement an appropriate remediation plan.
What were the results?
- The District contracted with Enviroscience Consultants, Inc., a local environmental consulting firm, to conduct the water testing and advise the District on its remediation plan.
What is the remediation plan?
- Water test results indicated that there were exceedances (lead levels above 15ppb) in some outlets throughout the District, but the vast majority were in outlets not generally used for drinking. Most of the exceedances were in science labs, custodial slop sinks, and sinks generally used for handwashing. There is no danger in handwashing, as lead is not absorbed through the skin. The drinking fountain near the concession stand tested at 21ppb and has been taken out of service. That is the only outlet commonly used for drinking that exceeded the 15ppb standard. All of our hallway and cafeteria water fountains and water bottle filling stations tested well below the 15ppb standard. Please CLICK HERE for complete water testing results.
Where can I get more information?
- All fixtures that exceeded the 15ppb standard will either be capped, replaced, or have signage placed at the outlet indicating that it is not to be used for drinking. All outlets with exceedances at the Elementary School (mostly classroom and bathroom sinks used for handwashing) will be replaced immediately and retested. Science labs at the Middle School and High School (which accounted for the majority of the exceedances) will have signs placed at the outlet, indicating that the water is not to be used for drinking.
- For more information on lead in drinking water, please visit the EPA website by clicking here: http://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/basic-information-about-lead-drinking-water
- For more information about the Westhampton Beach School District's lead testing results and remediation plan, please contact your child's principal or Superintendent Michael Radday at 288-3800.
Last Modified on October 3, 2018