Initial lead test results are in, and it’s good news for RCS

Final sampling to conclude in October

In the wake of water quality issues found in pipes and plumbing fixtures around the country, the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk School District proactively tested the water at each of its four schools last May and June, to check for the presence of lead.

RCS tested water from fixtures intended for drinking or cooking water at each school according to Environmental Protection Agency guideline. This included water fountains, coolers and bubblers, and sinks in all kitchens, Family and Consumer Sciences classrooms, nurse’s offices and faculty lounges.

The district is now performing additional sampling tests in each of the schools, as legislation signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sept. 6 goes beyond the EPA regulations.

“Our goal in May was to test to make sure our schools’ water is safe,” Superintendent Robert Libby said. “We followed EPA standards with our sampling, but now, with the more stringent New York state standards, we are expanding our tests.”

The new state regulations require all public schools to test all sources of potable water for lead contamination. The State Department of Health and State Education Department have established an action level threshold of 15 parts per billion. The state requires any water sources that test higher than the action level must immediately be taken out of service and lead remediation plans must be implemented.

RCS received the results from the initial March tests, which show all drinking and cooking fixtures to be under the action level set by the state. The new sampling will test water from bathroom and science classroom sinks.

Sampling from the elementary schools will conclude by the end of September. Middle and high school sampling will conclude in October.